Today I left Collin alone with his father and a full bottle of breast milk for five hours. It was my first time being away from my baby, and after five weeks of 24/7 mommying on demand, it felt a little like I had stepped into another life. Before I left, Collin and I sat in the shade for a while, cuddling. I had intended to take him to the farmer’s market, but instead I just held him and watched the busy crowd. Mothers strolled their children, elderly folks strolled themselves. Collin slept peacefully in my arms, sweaty in his Moby wrap and making me ten times hotter, waking occasionally to mouth my breast until I wrangled it out of my bra for him. It was nice. I’m getting the hang of this motherhood thing; being with Collin gradually becomes more peaceful and less help-I’m-dying terrifying.
After passing the baby baton to Husband (and fretting over it until I was literally kicked out of his office), I gleefully took the car and blasted music I used to listen to in my early twenties. It felt as if I was fifteen and my parents were gone for the weekend. I could do whatever I wanted! There was nobody who would need me to stop everything and pay complete attention to them at a moment’s notice. I drove to Felton and had my favorite drink at my favorite coffee shop with one of my favorite people. Afterward, I prepared to race back home to relieve an exhausted husband and feed what was surely a screaming baby who by then had most likely slurped down the bottle I had prepared. Instead, I was surprised to hear a cheerful, “We’re fine! We have plenty of everything!” when I called. I nearly dropped the phone.
So suddenly, I was faced with -could it be?- time to MYSELF. I spent most of it beating my head against a wall at Ross as I attempted to find something, anything, that would fit my post-pardom body. Shopping for clothes after having a baby is an...adventure. Basically, my butt is now a size 10, but my belly is a size 12. Where can I find pants with those mutant measurements? The entire time I was enjoying my “me time,” I was constantly texting my husband. I guess that was to be expected. By the time he finally asked me to come pick him and the baby up, I dropped everything and basically flew to go find them. I arrived at their destination just in time to catch the sunset over the ocean with them. Husband held Collin snugly in the Moby, wrapped in a blanket, who looked at me as if to say, ‘Where have YOU been?”
When we got home, Collin and I got reacquainted, or rather, Collin and my breasts got reacquainted. He dug his little icicle toes into me and latched on, suckling occasionally, his eyes bugging out of his head like a rabid squirrel. Eventually, he got to the point where he wasn’t hungry, but he wasn’t ready to let go, so there was nothing left for him to do but cry about it. I took him to bed and cuddled him until he fell asleep, and at one point I just looked at him and it dawned on me: this is MY baby.