OK, so today was my first full day back in the office and Geta has not been so happy with me. (more about that later...) I arrived home after work, greet lots of children, get snubbed by Geta and try to catch up with Lisa about the day. In the background I heard a beeping noise, like a smoke detector that has low batteries. Lisa mentioned that it just started beeping, so I didn't worry about it. We sit down to dinner, and about half way through dinner, the beeping is driving me nuts. I send Patrick on a hunt through the house to find the smoke detector that needs batteries replaced. He arrives back (from the basement) with the carbon monoxide detector! The LED has a reading of 283. Still thinking this must be low batteries, I push the reset/test button and the Alarm starts beeping like crazy. Geta and Tamene are now becoming scared of what is going on, so I replace the batteries and tell them everything is fine. With the new batteries in, the alarm continues to go off and the reading is 172. For those who don't know, we have a security alarm that has a carbon Monoxide detector as part of the monitoring service, so I send Mike down to the basement to see what it thinks. Since it doesn't have any kind of display, he presses the TEST button and the house alarm start going off. Tamene is now in an all out scream, terrified of all the noise. The telephone rings and ADT is advising us that we have a issue and the fire department is on its way. Hmm... Never had that happen before. So out to the front lawn we go. It is beautiful day outside and the kids are having a ball. The firemen decide to call the gas company so while we wait for them to show up, all the kids get to sit in the fire truck. Tamene is not so sure what to think of all of this, but it is a "beep beep" so how bad could it be! Aunt Missy and Crazy Bob and clan show up in the middle of all of the commotion, but have a great time playing with all our kids in the front yard. Thanks to Matthew for saving Tamene from the street several times! In the end, the big scare turned out to be nothing. But we had a good time making the most of a bad situation. And did I mention that Joshua lost a tooth while we were out in front of the house? Yes, that means that both top front teeth are missing, but for anyone who remembers the story, this is the "dead tooth" (killed by the refrigerator when he opted to walk backward, then turn too quickly and ... well the rest is history.)
So a quick note about my return to work... Last week I worked mornings and was home in the afternoon. Since Geta also started school, she was also occupied in the morning and I realized that she has never noticed that I was at work. So this week, I worked Monday afternoon, then added a full day of work today. I picked her up from school as usual Monday afternoon and we ate lunch together. But when we would normally start playing Uno, I announced that I needed to go to work. I immediately got the cold shoulder and some very unhappy looks from Geta. But I hugged and kissed her, told her I loved her and I would be home before dinner. After work, I met Mike at the baseball field where we switched cars so Mike could head to an "end of the year" basketball party with Courtney. When Geta saw that I was now driving "Daddy's car", the pout and cold shoulder were immediately back. She did not speak to me the entire night. When it was time to say prayers, she turned her back to me and when I asked for a hug and kiss good-night, I got the same cold shoulder. I have never been one to accept this behaviour, so I hugged her from the back and told her how much I love her. I said it was OK to be angry with mommy, but I still love her. Who knows if she understood, but off to sleep she went. This morning, I asked her if she would give me a hug and after a very brief pause, I got the same cold shoulder. I gave her another hug and kiss before we left for school and forced one more when I dropped her off at her classroom. Tonight, it took awhile before she would even look at me, but after all the excitement, she was more than happy to let me comfort her. At the end of the day, Mommy is still someone who protects her and that is really my goal. So, while I continue to stress about whether she is ready, I am encouraged by the deep rooted attachment that I see. I also see some 6 year old, "I have had mommy's undivided attention and now that is going away" anxiety. But all of this seems healthy to me, and that precious smile just fuels me to be tough and persevere.