I'm really not sure where to start. How about, "It changes everything".
After close to a decade, it's easy to lose sight of some of the wonderment of this place. Insects and wildlife have become something I "have to deal with" or even eradicate when possible. Snow? The beauty can be lost by thoughts of extra chores, extra effort and the certainty of mud when it melts.
As a Papa, it's my job to show her how to engage with the world around her. Yup, I had the (forced) opportunity to slow my roll and take in all the things that used to fascinate me. Well played kid. Well played.
I used to enjoy working on equipment. I'm handy with a wrench, have a full toolbox and three decades of experience and know-how but having a kick ass mechanic that likes to trade labor for beef made it easy to fall out of love with those things. A toddler with a new Deere tool belt needs to "hep papa", guess we better start liking knuckle busting again.
After hitting the 1000-hour mark using the backhoe to dig trenches or any of the 20 things it gets used for during projects, it's become a third arm. You forget that you need it because it's just part of whatever plan.
I used to LOVE climbing into it. I even enjoyed greasing the 900 zerk-fittings, replacing teeth and giving it the morning once over before starting a long day. At some point it just became muscle memory, and the joy was gone.
That changed once I had a new project manager and tractor enthusiast. Need to use it for the simplest of chores? Yup, 2 minutes of tractor time requires pausing the cartoon, changing from jammies to work gear and heading out to....... wait, we need a toy to go with. Shit can't find the toy I'm looking for. Change order needs to be signed off for a mini meltdown.
Oh look, there's one of the cats!
Three-year-old terrorist: Can I pick a snack?
Hostage Papa: "Honey, we've been trying to get out the door so long- it's almost lunch time"
Three-year-old terrorist: "But I don't like the crust"
Hostage Papa: "No problem, I think it's chicken nuggets today anyway"
Three-year-old terrorist: "With Jelly?"
Hostage Papa: "That's weird but whatever. C'mon punkin', papa really needs to get this done"
Three-year-old terrorist: "I have to poop"
We have hit new levels of inefficiency around here.
Up until January when the kids showed up, our daughter had basically been a single parent. This was the catalyst for the move in the first place. You can almost hear the sigh of relief from Shila when it went from one to three parents overnight. Mind you, papa's parenting style is a little different but no less effective at giving mom a much-needed break or a trip to town without a toddler trying to crawl back into her vagina at the grocery store checkout counter.
Amy: We're headed into town for overpriced coffees and to get our toes done. Can you guys straighten the house up and do the floors? We have company coming.
Me: Sure! No problem...