Thursday, September 14, 2017

My Overnights Were Once Kid-Free. That Was Over 6 Months Ago.

Once upon a time, I had a break from the kids after Lisa went to bed until she got up for work at 3:30 a.m. I stay awake on the overnight to do most of my writing work and other odds and ends. There were seldom any interruptions. As contradictory as it may sound, the overnight was my time to exhale and rejuvenate even though I was working, doing a little quiet housework, or baking. I didn't have to worry about tripping over the kids or their toys, having to get up from my desk chair 322 times an hour, being interrupted by barking because the kids heard a squirrel fart or other distractions.

Then, over 6 months ago, in early March, we adopted Willa. It didn't take long to establish that she would not be joining Lisa, Coco, Sophie, and Lobo at night in bed. Despite our best attempts at getting her on the same schedule, it just wasn't happening. Our other 3 kids have their favorite spots on the bed with Lisa. I tuck them in. Give them a goodnight cookie. Within 5 minutes, they're hunkered down and falling asleep.

That's the only part of our routine Willa didn't adapt to. And, that's okay.

Willa has a mind of her own. She enjoys chewing her bones and being involved in whatever I'm doing. After a couple of hours, she'll find her comfy spot beside of me on the sofa or on the other end and fall into a sound sleep.

I absolutely enjoy Willa's company during the overnight hours and our little routine. However, I've had to change my routine a bit to accommodate her. For the most part, it's worked out, but on occasion, it can be a bit trying. For example, if I need to be at my desk to upload photos or do anything I'm not able to do on my Chromebook, Willa won't settle down as quickly. She's also under the impression that I'll play fetch with her while I'm at my desk. That's a no go. It's too late and too loud. When I don't comply with her fetch demands, she gets mischevious.

That translates to not letting her out of my sight because...well, there's no telling what she'll get into. 

Another tiny problem is when I get up from the sofa and I'm away for more than 5 minutes, Willa gets up to look for me. This makes it difficult to get quiet housework done or do a little baking.

The biggest change is I no longer have a break from the kids. It's 24/7.

Notice I said "change." I don't view this as a problem. 

As with all of our kids, when they first joined our family, we've had to make changes and additional sacrifices. We didn't give it a second thought. We have absolutely no regrets.

Willa is no exception.

I remember back in July when she had her spay surgery. We had to set her up in the home office using a fence-like gate. It took up half of the office. This was necessary because, during the healing process, we had to keep her activity to a bare minimum. This meant no running, playing fetch, and jumping on and off furniture.

On the overnight, I missed having her near me. I worked at my desk most of the time, but it just wasn't the same.

I was sad. I knew Willa was too. Her siblings missed having her around. When we were finally able to let her roam freely, everyone was overjoyed.

I was a happy Dog Mom. I had our little girl with me on the overnight.

I had someone ask me the other day, "Do you regret adopting Willa? She's so different from your other 3 kids."

My answer was simple.

"Nope. Not at all. She's a perfect addition to our family..."

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