No one in this house is used to me being gone all day. Normally, it is Dean leaving early in the morning and returning around 6 in the evening and the kids, cats and I are here. Now, for the past week, the roles have reversed and no one is used to it.
Instead of me being here and Dean being gone, I leave in the morning and return around 10 at night. Dean has been holding down the fort for the past week and for the first two days, the kids were great for him. Now, he is getting a dose of the medicine that I usually get from these heathen savages.
Matt is old enough and so enamoured by Dean that he is on cloud nine and doesn’t really miss me much. Owen and Olivia are having a far bigger reaction to this sudden change. Owen seems more offended if I scold him for misbehaving and looks wounded when I raise my voice instead of his usual arguing right back at me. It bothers me enough that I want to grab him up and snuggle him for hours, which I intend to do the minute this is all over.
Olivia is cheerful, but isn’t being as emotional. Just sort of clingy. She is demanding that she get to lie in bed with Mommy at night as it seems to be the only time we have together these days. Last night, we were sitting here watching The Family Guy when she reached out and took my hand and snuggled up to me and said, “Mommy, I miss you!”
Well, you know she got whatever the fuck she wanted after that.
I feel pretty guilty for being away from the older three. It’s hard to know what to do right now as I don’t want them to be upset but I also don’t want Emi to be all alone up there with no family with her. Dean has done a great job this week and has been explaining to them what is going on and then last night, we snuck them into the hospital to see Emi for an hour before it was time to go home. They didn’t get to hold her because of the i.v. and all the monitors, but they did get to kiss her and hug her and tuck her in to bed for the night. Matthew brought her a book (The Transformers) to read to her and Owen and Olivia gave her stuffed animals to keep with her… Owen, a giraffe named Candace and Olivia a soft, colorful chameleon.
This morning, I’m going to ask Dean to sit them down with some markers and a big poster board and make her a welcome home sign to put on the door. It’ll be a good project to occupy them while he readies the fort for her arrival.
A close second to Olivia, John is up my butt the most. He has missed me a great deal and now he won’t leave me alone, which doesn’t bother me in the least. He’s my buddy and I adore him. This cat follows me everywhere rubbing all over my ankles and when I am sitting, he is right here next to me, pawing at me until I pet him and demanding attention until he gets it.
And if that doesn’t work, he does this:
I wish I could give you a good idea of just how big this fucking cat has gotten. Sitting on my laptop doesn’t tell you much but my laptop is pretty damned big. He is easily bigger than any adult cat I have met and he is only six months old. He is allll man.
And a total Mama’s boy. I just got up to go pee and when I came out of the bathroom, I almost stepped on him as he was just standing there waiting patiently for me to come out. And now that I am sitting back down, he is sprawled, once again, across my leg purring happily.
The cats had only one evening to meet Emi before she was readmitted to the hospital. John was very curious and just wanted to sniff at her, but Amy seemed as if she were taking Emi on as her own. She planted herself about a foot from the baby and just watched her, coming over frequently to inspect her and make sure she was alright. These two will have to be watched… not really for jealousy, but for possessiveness. Especially John who is just too damned big to be allowed left alone with her. I know him. And he is liable to plop down on top of her and go to sleep and god only knows that his fat ass would suck the breath right out of her.
Personality wise, Amy and Olivia are very similar and I see the two of them trying to remove me from the equation altogether. Olivia already has bouts of screaming, “I want my baby!!!” and she can’t be left alone with Emi, either. The one night she was home, Olivia was trying to just pick her up and take off with her, NOT acceptable.
Owen and Matt do the same thing, which terrifies me. Once Emi is older and able to hold her head up and whatnot, I’ll allow Matt to pick her up, but not walk around with her. I worry about him tripping with her in his arms.
One strange thing I have noticed is Dean’s reaction to Emi this past week. He has been terrified to touch her or be alone with her. Most evenings, I come home and then send him up there to spend time with her and he is always freaked out by it and seems very nervous. Then, last night, he walked in the door and said, “Gimme her!!” and then promptly offered to stay with her for the night. No nerves, nothing. I asked what that was about and he sheepishly explained to me how worried he was with her while she was wearing the mask and was hooked up to so much shit.He was afraid to be alone with her.
Now that she is more unplugged, he doesn’t want to put her down, but you still see panic on his face when her monitors suddenly go off and he will stiffen up and exclaim, “What did I do??? Oh, my god… what is that???” I’ll have to calm him down and explain why that specific alarm was going off and he’d be sort of quiet and reserved for a few minutes before relaxing again.
As is typical with Dean, the first thing he checked for after her birth was her fingers. He was extremely pleased to see that they are very long like Olivia’s. He proudly says, “Look at her fingers… perfect for guitar and piano!” Fucking Dean the stage mom. Ha!
I hope my family will get to permanently reunite today and that from now on, no one will have to miss anyone else. Until the next deployment, at least.