The Dogs’ Adjustment Period

Recently, I started a new job, and for the past week I have not been a “stay-at-home” mom. Gigi has probably overheard some of my conversations with friends and family about my “adjustment period” as I
try to maintain a bright attitude about re-entering the corporate world after ten years of being away.

Gigi: I missed you today…all day, Mom.

Cassie: I missed you too , Genevieve.

Gigi: My brain is still having an adjustment about how you go to work every day except on the weekend.

Cassie: Mine too.

Gigi: It will be better once I start MY job.

Cassie: YOUR job? What do you mean? When you start pre-K?

Gigi: Yup. It’s all day. It’s like having a job for the whole day. Daddy said it’s Max’s job to do well in his high school. Everybody has jobs. The big kids, you and Daddy and me.

Cassie: I guess so. But you should have fun at your school. Okay?

Gigi: I know. I’m excited that Daddy is going to bring me to school instead of you and that the new babysitter is going to pick me up from school. She’s very pretty. But, Mom?

Cassie: Yea?

Gigi: When we all go away in the day time, the dogs will be lonely. Now they’re going to have to do some adjustment too.

Cassie: Yes, Genevieve. I think they’ll adjust, though. They’ll sleep. Daffodil will sleep in her crate so she doesn’t chew—

Gigi: All the pillows.

Cassie: Right. (Pause) As soon as the big kids get home after school, they’ll walk Simone and Daffodil right away. Then, when I get home at night, I’ll walk the dogs again. I think it’s going to work.

Gigi: Alright. But dogs can’t talk so their brains are going to take a long time to adjust. We can’t explain it to them. They’re just dogs. Poor dogs.

Cassie: We’ll have to hope for the best, I guess. See how it goes.

Gigi: I just know they’re going to pee and poop and throw-up about it.

Cassie: The dogs? During the adjustment period?

Gigi: Yep. Simone will vomit. She kept doing that sometimes when you were at work. I think she missed you. Did you tell the new babysitter that maybe they will do that? The dogs might poop and be gross?

Cassie: No. Max will have to deal with any of that yucky stuff when he gets home from school. He’s used to it after working at the animal shelter.

Gigi: I hope I like my school. Do you like your job?

Cassie: Almost. I’m not totally good at it. Yet.

Gigi: Do you miss me when you are at your job?

Cassie: Always.

Gigi: And you have some pictures of me at your desk?

Cassie: Yes.

Gigi: And all the kids’ pictures?

Cassie: Yes. And you know what?

Gigi: What?

Cassie: I even have pictures of the dogs.

Gigi: That’s good. Everybody has to adjust….even the dogs.

Cassie: That’s right.

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