|Toby and Luna, enjoying an early morning frolic|
As the animals have settled in and gotten more comfortable progress has been happening with the kids, too. They now have visits with mom and twice-weekly video chats with dad. While the contact with their parents was much longed for and is a huge milestone, it hasn't come without a price. Having their parents back in their lives in a more tangible way has opened the door to the Princesses wanting to recreate how they lived with mom and dad - i.e., do whatever they want with very few rules or boundaries. It is normal and to be expected, but still not easy for Big Brother and I as we try to strike a balance between understanding what they are feeling and maintaining structure and discipline in the house. Sometimes it feels like we are on the losing end of the proposition, but we keep hanging in there.
My morning coffee while watching the antics of the cat and dog is a much-needed counterpoint to the power struggles going on around here these days. When play gets to rough, fierce little Luna will jump up on my lap for a quick cuddle, then leap happily back into the frey. When he needs a break Toby will come flop down next to my chair and rest his chin on my feet. By the time I've finished my second cup of Joe and it is time to get the kids up the animals have worn themselves out and I've laughed away any lingering stress from the day before.