It’s nice to be home again. More than nice, actually.

The whole family — now two adults, two kids and a dog (or two kids, an adult, a fly fisherman and a dog who thinks he’s human) — rolled back into town last night, and I’d suggest at least one of us still hasn’t entirely found his groove.

The latest addition to the family is a wonderful little kid, yet she’s clearly confused. Hell, I live here and I’m confused.

The good news is that life in an orphanage has seen M2 develop some good habits, like actually putting toys away when done with them and closing doors.

Putting her to sleep? You place her in the crib and cover her with a blanket.

Instant lights out.

Given the gymnastics needed to get Little M to sleep, that’s astonishing.

The downside is her physical development, which lags that of your average two year-old.

Which makes perfect sense.

In much the same way hatcheries churn out trout best suited for life in concrete runways, orphanages favor traits which make life in an orphanage better, which — for the caretakers — probably doesn’t include running, jumping and climbing.

The folks running M2′s orphanage did a wonderful job — they’re committed and loving and the place was spotless — but getting dozens of kids fed and cleaned and to bed better fits the description of an assembly line than it does a traditional family environment.

We’re not worried. A few months at Trout Underground/Man Cave/Outdoor-Indoor Kid Toy Headquarters and she’ll be climbing every dangerous thing in sight and breaking pretty much everything she can get her hands on, giving dad ulcers in the process.

Progress, it seems, take different forms for different people.

The Fishing Thing

I had a chance to fish the Pit next Monday with a couple of heavy hitters, but given my situation (I’m pretending to be superdad, working mainly at night and during naps), I passed.

In truth, my fly fishing horizons have collapsed into a kind of fishing black hole; I’m more a consumer of fishing information than generator, and my event horizon is limited to a couple nearby streams, the only distance I can manage before the powerful gravity of M2 and the family pulls me back home.

It won’t last forever. Little M realized we were her parents after two months and seemed frankly relieved to escape us when we started her on day care, and I suspect a similar timeline for M2.

Still, all that local stream exploration work is going to start paying off; I plan a handful of local “long lunch” escapes, though for purposes of sanity as much as trout.

See you on the river (at some point), Tom Chandler.