The last week
Today kicks off the final week before Peter enters day care as I prepare to start my new job... P starts day care next Monday on a part-time basis (I don't start work until the 23rd, and we wanted to ease him in the first week). It's a strange feeling, and I have to admit I'm both regretful and relieved at the same time. I quit my last job Aug. 31, 2006, and in the past 10 months or so I've spent far more time with Peter than I did the first 2 1/2 years of his life. That's something I'll never forget, being able to enjoy the kind of "quality time" that far too many parents just can't swing in the hectic modern world.
I just wish I hadn't spent about 35% of this time whining about not having a job, being annoyed at our rambunctious toddler and generally freaking out a bit about the whole upheaval of moving 6,000 miles overseas. It's human nature to be never entirely satisfied, I guess. The first few months after Avril returned to work and I was having to look after the boy, like, all day, were definitely the worst, and in retrospect I had some real depression going on then. You take away everything that defines your life and replace it with new stuff, it'll shake you up a bit. But by March or so I started to realize this time was going to be very finite and before I knew it Peter would magically transform like our nephew Max, who sprouted into an impossibly gangly, taciturn teenager seemingly overnight. So enjoy it while it lasts.
Filling the days got a lot easier when we started going to Playcentre – as anyone who minds a toddler will tell you, keeping them occupied is the hardest part. And Peter and I have had several expeditions exploring Auckland, the museums, zoo, et cetera. It's been great to watch that little mind develop and his constant growth. While he's been big on asserting his independence (#1 favorite phrase: "No I want to do that!") he also isn't shy about expressing his love (#2 favorite phrase: "I really want to cuddle you"). He loves to ask questions (#3 favorite phrase: "Why do...[fill in the blank; i.e. yesterday's question about why worms live in the ground]"), and keeps coming up with ever-more elaborate fantasy play schemes that make me hope he'll be as creative as an adult as he is as a kid. He's overall an incredibly happy, excited and smart kid. But he also requires a heck of a lot of energy to keep up with and I admit the notion of paying professionals to do this for some of the day is rather alluring.
I am definitely ready to go back into the workforce and excited about what'll happen there. The novelty of having a 3-year-old as my major social outlet grew old a while ago. But I have to admit it's all been full of a lot of little wonders too and hopefully I can store that somewhere in my head and summon it back up whenever I get sick of the novelty of working again. Meantime I'll enjoy this last week.