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Emily Kreiberg

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Thoughts from a Militant Octopus

I can’t recall if I’ve managed to eke out a blog post since I went back to work on June 15th, but I’ve had blips of posts I want to write floating around in my head for days.

Some of them have to do with juggling the new demands of being a working Mom, some of them have to do with the absolute joy of discovering Sadie as a developing Person, not just a blob, and the words ‘militant octopus’ keep popping into my head.

So let’s start there-

Militant Octopus. 🐙

I was thinking the other day of how I might best describe my parenting style of late, and I giggled when the words my brain presented to me were ‘Militant Octopus.’

I was having these thoughts as I was flinging re-heated Kraft Dinner onto Sadie’s highchair tray with my left hand and deftly removing a full plastic water cup from her grasp that was on its way to the floor for the dog.

I whirled around from those pursuits to simultaneously turn off the oven’s annoying timer beep, and to sternly remind Sadie that her food was not for the dog. (Though it is, and the dog is fat now, because A) I have no time to walk her and B) every time I turn around to face the stove, Sadie uses the opportunity to feed the dog her dinner.)

The hours between 4:45 pm and 6:45 pm are when I cease being Emily, and become the Militant Octopus.

I magically grow multiple tentacles and each tentacle has a task, which it must do at the same time as the 7 others, or else Everything Goes to Hell.

June 15th, I returned to work full-time.

April 15th or somewhere around there, Ryan was called out to one of his company’s plants north of Edmonton to do some much-needed overseeing of the plant’s maintenance and machinery.

They needed him out there from Monday morning at 4 am to Thursday evening at 6 pm.

It was Covid times, everything was crazy, and he was assured it was temporary.

So far, it looks like he’ll be doing this schedule until October something ish.

Which means, that for four out of the five work nights of the week, I am a quasi-single Mom.

I get off work at 4.

I rush to my car.

I battle traffic.

I arrive at dayhome jussst before it closes at 5.

I pick up my beautiful girl.

I zoom home.

I walk the dog.

Some days I pretend to go for a run. (I’m horrendously out of shape, my thighs stick together, I hate pushing the jogging stroller and my form is terrible. I don’t attempt the post-work run often.)

We get home.

I push dinner in her face and sometimes mine. (Dinner for her has lapsed from homemade veggie and protein purées made by yours truly to reheated Mac n cheese hastily thrown on her tray. Dinner for me some night last week was 7 chocolate-covered cookies and a piece of chicken I tore off of a ready-made BBQ chicken I picked up from Sobey’s.)

(Mental note- it was a Monday. NEVER bring a toddler last-minute grocery shopping on a Monday. It was all going well until she tried to touch a Gatorade display. I said ‘No Thank You.’ She proceeded to plant her feet wide, throw her hands behind her back Olympic ski-jumper style and let out a 30-second scream, the likes of which could probably permanently injure a canine’s ears, the pitch and decibel were so atrocious.)

After ‘dinner’, I throw the child in the bath. She has suddenly decided she hates the bath, so this involves throwing her in and then attempting to abate the tears by offering bubbles, bath markers and her special hot pink bath necklace.

Sometimes the bath goes well because I let her pull out the plug a mere three minutes into bath time. On these nights, I just scrub and soap Really quickly. All’s well that ends well!

After her bath, I get her into her jammies and her sleep sack and sit with her on the rocking chair to give her a bottle of half lactose-free, half almond milk. (It’s like a Starbucks order, but for babies, and she wouldn’t have a clue how to ask for it.)

It is then, somewhere around 6:45, that I relax again into Emily, or even better, Mama.

Nights like tonight, she leaned back into my chest and I held onto her tightly and buried my nose and mouth into her hair.

She smelled so sweet and clean and wonderful that I lost all track of time for awhile, just sniffing that beautiful baby head. (And that’s a feat- because just one hour prior, she had rubbed an entire processed cheese slice into her hair at dinner time. Apparently it was a hat.)

So that’s the rhythm of my days lately, and I’m not complaining.

I’m archiving- because I know these days are short and someday soon, she’ll be even more a person than she is today and I’ll want to reread these entries and remember what it was like to have my baby. My toddler.

P.S. Stay tuned for my next post on Sadie’s developing language skills- we had an entire conversation the other day about Daddy’s truck and where it went and where he was and it was Incredible. Aside from her burgeoning skills as an interpretive dancer, Sadie is exploding into language and lapping every word up. It is So neat.

For now though, this soggy octopus must exit the bath.

And yes- I authored this entire post on my iPhone notepad, from the bath.

An octopus gotta do what an octopus gotta do.

XO, Em

Please comment if anything I have said really spoke to you. I quit newspapers becuase they weren't interactive. PLeASE interact. Amen!
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