I never thought I would be a stay-at-home parent.

Once upon a time, I scoffed at the idea of staying home with a child. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the thought of caring for a little person ALL.THE.TIME. It ended up happening by circumstance. I no longer worked in an office. I became self-employed and I worked out of my home studio. My entire upstairs became devoted to my work space. I have giant shelves of card stock. Boxes upon boxes of envelopes in a rainbow of colors. The extremely sturdy, wooden built-in bookcases meant for displaying actual books and knickknacks, I immediately claimed for my own. The largest room in the house isn’t my bedroom. It’s my studio/jail were I spend most of my day designing, cutting, assembling, printing, making things. (I say jail because often times it’s quit difficult to get away from work when it’s always right here.)

Then I had a kid.

It started out innocently enough. I’d have her up in the office with me in her little blue tent. It was purchased at a yard sale for an awesome steal of five bucks. She’d lounge around and I got orders done and it was all good.

But that didn’t last long.
Because she grew.

The little tent was great for newborn-not-doing-much-of-anything-Arden, but not 7 month-old-Arden. No worries. I had a new plan! I’d keep her in a play pen AKA a pack-n-play. (These were apparently renamed from the 70’s because the new and improved devices for keeping your kid corralled in one spot, no longer collapsed on them or pinched the crap out of their arms and legs.) This would be great! I could work and she could play and everything would be jolly.

But it wasn’t.
Because she didn’t want to be exiled in a padded mesh and metal box.
She wanted to be getting into all my supplies and exploring. So she would howl at me and hold up her arms until I took her out.

She learned to pull herself up on the wooden knobs of a squat dresser that houses my ribbon stash. It sits without legs beneath the table where all my printers are lined up. Eventually becoming strong enough to stand and pull the drawers open herself, only so she could get at my supplies with her chubby little hands and dump them everywhere. There is nothing more fun than watching things fly up in the air and scatter. Nothing except maybe the reaction of my Japanime eyes getting ginormous like they might pop out of my head at any moment. She’d laugh at me as I would try not to lose my shit.

This is what I’m reminded of today as I clean up my work sArden in her baby newborn tent copyArden eating in a mess on teh floor copypace. It is currently in complete disarray and in reality has been for quite a while. She’s not so good at organization and quite frankly, neither am I. Creativity at it’s finest, right? There are scraps of card stock all over my work table. Invitation samples, print layouts and hole-punch dots from making banners. Along with pictures she’s colored, her play kitchen, a mass of dolls, puzzles, books, horses and My Little Ponies. Odds and ends of trinkets she likes to collect.

And I’m sobbing.
Because I miss her.


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