The Last Year with Hannah & Sophie
Posted by Joe Cianciotto
Dear Hannah & Sophie,
I know that I have touched on this quite a few times in recent blog posts, but this last year has truly been an extraordinary experience for me.
Let me tell you why…
Up until this past June I have spent the better part of every week for as long as I can remember working on the road. And then just like that I got a gig that not only brought me back to New York permanently but also provided me with the opportunity to work from home as well.
At first I actually had a really tough time adjusting to my new normal. I had so gotten used to the demarcation of work time from family time that the concept of blending the two really threw me off. The funny thing is when you work from home you’re both always off and always working. It’s like Fridays are never that great, but Sunday nights are not really all that terrible. Anyway after a few months I grew to love this new existence…. but not for that reason.
The reason that I adore my predicament is just how much time I get to spend with you both. I start my day making breakfast for Hannah first, who is up every morning at 6 AM. I cheat a bit and pour Sophie’s cereal so that all I gotta’ do is add milk when she comes down. Once Mommy takes Hannah to the bus I have an extra thirty minutes where I crash on the couch. An odd ritual has been for Sophie to camp out on top of my unconscious carcass on the couch and watch Muppet Babies.
Once I get clean and pretty, Sophie I’ll drop you off at school and then begin my day. I’ve been lucky because I’ve got enough clients on the west coast that I can start my day slightly later and still be caught up.
Around noon, Emelia, your babysitter, picks Sophie up and brings her back to the house where you’ll both play for the rest of the afternoon. Emelia is amazing, and treats Sophie more like a playmate and a friend than an insane five year old she has to entertain. During the day I’ll take the odd break between calls and chase Sophie all over the house pretending to be a monster.
Once we hit the 3 PM mark, suddenly Hannah is back from school and the sister crazy train is in full effect. This is when I usually barricade myself in my upstairs office so I can take calls and do my best impression of a reputable professional. Of course that doesn’t’ stop you both from picking the lock (yes, picking the lock) and barging into the room at the worst times. In the past year I have had the pleasure of presenting remotely to a room full of executives only for Sophie to walk in the room and ask me to wipe her or another time I was Skyping with the CMO of a top brand and Hannah wanted to know why I was wearing my pajama bottoms.
Usually each day your mother and I will take turns making dinner, depending on whether I have to go in to the city or not that day. The best part is that no matter who cooks, we usually all get the chance to spend this meal-time together…something I have never gotten to experience until this year.
After dinner I’ll camp out in the dining room with my laptop for the rest of the night doing the stuff I probably should have been doing earlier that day. It’s right around 8 PM, when Mommy is trying to get you to go to bed that you both begin your performances. First you’ll remember just how much you love me and sneak down the stairs to tell me that. After that you’ll both also find that you’re really thirsty and need to come get water. Once we’ve taken care of that Hannah decides that she needs to read a book to the whole family in her bed. Once we do that, this is when you both split off into different rooms and take turns asking for either Mommy or Daddy to lay with you…once we give in you’ll then ask for the other one. By the end of this exercise you’ll somehow both end up back in Hannah’ bed. After you make it this far I’ll, more times than not, give in and let you watch five minutes of Netflix on my iPhone at which point you’re both close to dropping. If you haven’t dropped by then, I’ll pull out the nuclear option and play Enya on Alexa which usually does the trick…although I usually end up having nightmares of being stuck on Middle Earth.
From here, I’ll make it back downstairs where I do a couple of hours of work before I crash. However, whenever I can, I make my way back into your rooms and give you both one last kiss while you’re sleeping.
Granted at least two days a week I have to go in for meetings in the city but for the most part this is my routine. Knowing this won’t always be the case I do my best to savor these moments while they last. Life is complicated and a mx of ups and downs but sandwiching those turds between the time I get to spend with you both always pushes my needle to “happy”.
You’re both two mini anarchists that have completely blown up Mommy and Daddy’s sense of normalcy and calm… and every day we are just so grateful, that you do.
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