Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rekindling Relationships

Guess who cut his third tooth today?!?

This guy!
 I bet after reading the title of this post, you thought this post was going to be about David. I am actually proud I report that even though David and I will sometimes say, "I miss you" after spending an entire day together, we still feel close and that our relationship is unscathed thus far. This post is actually about our fur babies. The poor dears have been so patient during this transition period.

Pre-Ayden, I thought nothing could change my relationship with my pets. Before David, I'm pretty sure I was on my way to being a cat lady. No seriously... I went through a phase during middle school where I was reading Cat Fancy magazine and had big plans to become a Rag Doll cat breeder. A cat that goes limp when you hold them? Yes please, hundreds of them! David came from a family that *liked* animals but never really considered them as a part of the family. When the two extremes collided we had a lot of arguments, made a lot of compromises and finally found a balance that allowed us to become happy with our one dog, one cat, one fish household.

Polly is a major lap cat. While I was pregnant, I made sure to snuggle her as much as possible knowing that things might change and boy have they!

The week of my due date
 Over the past 7+ months I can probably count on my two hands the times that I have snuggled with my beloved cat (I've had her for 14 years!) and actually enjoyed it. When I really think about it, it makes me sad because she used to be my baby. I don't feel quite as bad about Maverick because his life hasn't changed too much. If anything, he gets more walks and attention because it is one way to get out of the house and Ayden loves him so. But poor, sweet Polly, my heart breaks a little every time I shove her off my lap when she chooses the worst time to initiate a snuggle session, e.g., when Ayden is crying and I am singing to him (she always loves it when I sing), or when I am trying to get him to sleep and she comes in the room excitedly meowing, waking him up. The other day I told her "Hang in there old girl, we'll be able to rekindle our relationship soon." I have set a new goal for myself to carve out a little time every day for each pet. Ayden is getting to the age where he can be involved in petting and taking care of them so whether he's with me or not, I'd love to return to the pet lover I once was.

Polly snoozing in the glider while Ayden and I played in his room today
 For me, I knew I always wanted to be a mother. I suppose what babies and pets have in common is that they need you in such an intense way. If you don't care for them, they won't survive; so when you see them growing, developing, and thriving you know it is because of you and that is very gratifying. That is why I had such a deep bond with my pets. They fulfilled that innate motherly desire that was at my core while I was waiting to become a mother. It also didn't hurt that they seem to love you back unconditionally.  When the real thing finally came around, it was amazing how distant from my thoughts the pets became. I think all of that is normal.  Becoming a parent is a HUGE adjustment and takes a lot of focus.  Now that Ayden is getting to a little bit more of an independent age, things have started to calm down and I am ready to fall back in love with my pets.

I also had a few moments where I fell even more deeply in love with Ayden today. You love your children more and more every day but there are moments that stop you in your tracks and make you think: "Wow! Are you really mine? How on Earth did I get so lucky?" and today I experienced several of those moments. I was telling David that I think it was because I had so little on my plate today. We are working together to keep the house so nice for unexpected showings so all I had to worry about was a couple of loads of laundry. The rest of the day was spent playing and snuggling with my little love and I was able to really notice and focus on how awesome he is. Here are a few pics that captures a few moments of awesomeness:

Where do you think you're going, little man??
With his most prized possession
 He loves his Brown Bear book so much!  Here is a video of him "requesting" that I read it and then him while he listens to the story.  (The clip is a little long because it is for documentation purposes.)

 He is so brave and motivated when it comes to standing. He pulls up, let's go, falls, smiles, and tries again. David texted me after seeing a video of his efforts and said that Ayden's persistence is motivating and he's so right. I think everything about a child's outlook on the world is motivating. They are always living in the moment, if they don't like something they don't do it, they see everything with a sense of awe and wonder, and everything is an adventure. One of the things I was looking forward to most as a parent was seeing the world for the first time through the eyes of my children and it really has been fun so far. I think we all have a lot to learn from these little people in our lives!


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