After the Journey

Settling Back In…The Hard Way

We’ve been back almost 6 weeks but the truth is the readjustment to life after the journey started at least a good month before we boarded our plane to Oz.

A readjustment insofar as, while we may have had a house to return to, we were short an assortment of household items.

Kaia’s situation would be the most pressing since her cot (crib) was gone the day we first put Australia behind us; sold to our soon-to-be parent tenants under the assumption Kaia probably had a snowball’s chance in hell of still fitting in it 12 months later when we returned.

A very correct assumption it would prove to be as, indeed, our little girl definitely returned not so little anymore. Among a long list of items to buy, it appeared a big girl bed was near the top of our list.

What constituted a bed for Kaia, however, would be a topic of some vigorous debate between mom and dad. Bec vacillated between Kaia’s preference of a ‘Frozen’ Princess bed and a substantially more legit sounding ‘King Single’ with appropriately sized mattress to boot. All while I, like a lone voice in the wilderness campaigned in vain for something…shall we say, more frugal. Something a small step up from a swagman’s bedroll with a good pillow thrown in for good measure.

You know, just until we were a bit more settled, of course.

In the end mom would win, with good friends collecting bed frames of various sizes and matching mattresses organized for delivery to coincide all of a few hours prior to our arrival back home. In all, less planning probably went into packing up and relocating the Obamas to their new digs from their White House residence. Regardless, six weeks on, Bec’s decision to go the legit route in terms of Kaia’s bed has proven a wise one.
Someone thinks it’s funny.

This being because of the fact—now how’s this for karma—it’s me sleeping in the thing.

But I guess we should’ve seen the new sleeping arrangement issues coming. As in from a LONG, LONG way off.

I mean, you spend a year joined at the hip with a three year old, a year whose 24/7 proximity is extended to sleeping style arrangements of not only everyone in the same room but, more times than not, in the same bed, even. And, well…expecting Kaia to return home and automatically go bounding off to her own bed in her own room becomes a bit much to expect.

Especially with the level of maternal separation anxiety the girl finds herself thick in the midst of.

It’s the sort of separation anxiety that sees mom practically having to get a hall pass just to answer nature’s call out of sight, all of ten metres down the hallway.

Worse still, the girl has simply grown a wee bit too comfortable with her parents at her beck and call. Countless are the times we’ve been left exasperated by instances of Kaia calling us from the back of the house to help her get her water bottle. This being the exact water bottle that is often situated on the coffee table directly in front of her barely more than an arm’s length away.

Yes, it seems we have a bit of work to do with this whole readjustment thing.

Including, reminding Kaia about what it means when we say mommy and daddy have to go to work.

Three o’clock, I’d respond to Kaia the first time she asked me “How long does mommy have to work,” through teary eyes from her car seat as I drove her to her kindy class around the corner from the house. This, all the while reassuring our little dejected princess that mommy missed her, too.

But, as I’d learn a few days later after the same line of questioning, I had missed the point of what Kaia was asking. It was something in the girl’s somewhat exasperated sounding voice that made the light go on. Something that helped me suddenly understand what Kaia REALLY meant when Kaia continued asking, “How long does mommy have to work?”

She meant, how much longer was this relatively new concept of having to leave the house daily to go to a thing called a job going to last?

I couldn’t help but smile at such a line of thinking. It was a perspective I realized Bec and I had worked quite hard to make possible. Now, a fun filled and carefree year behind us, Kaia was having to contend with the fact some things–like extended family travel—are the exception to the rule and anything but the norm.

And one day in the not too distant future, I can only hope that realization will extend to her bedroom.

And preferably, before I’m ready for an upgrade from the king single.




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