Friday, October 23, 2009

One of those Father-Son Moments

So I was in the kitchen yesterday and I heard MDH in the living room, entertaining the baby. In the middle of a stream of coos and squeals, I overheard this: "We like blankets. And that is a blanket statement."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mommy and the New Frontier

Infancy, especially early infancy, is chock full of milestones. It seems that every week that passes brings some new fascinating behavior or endearing social interaction with our "new roommate." For the past sixteen weeks, I've enjoyed so much watching and learning as our little guy teaches me all about babyhood, personhood, with each tiny new thing he does.

But this week, it's Mommy who is doing the growing: this is my week of Learning to Let Go. A little.

Next week, I'm starting a new part-time schedule that will have me working outside the home on Tuesday afternoons/evenings (yay, go me!). It's a good thing for our family financially, and a good thing for my little guy (and me) emotionally & developmentally. He gets some un-distracted playtime with a nice new person, who also has training in early childhood development; and I get to get out of the house and play grown-up for several hours in a row. It's good for both of us (did I say that already?) and at almost 4 months old, it's the perfect time for my little guy to start learning to trust others and make new friends.

Easily said. Less easily done. Today is the "dry run," which means while he is at home getting acquainted with our fabulous new nanny, I've been out running errands and doing some work at my favorite local coffee shop. It's the first time I've left him at home with someone other than MDH or one of his loving grandparents, so I wanted to be nearby just in case. [In case of what, exactly? In case of measles? Tornado? In case the experienced, mature professional suddenly folds under the pressure of sitting with one very sweet baby?]

No, let's be honest: I'm nearby for my own sake and no one else's. Being less than a mile away from my child makes me comforted in some way that I can't explain... but I will say that I am proud of myself that I'm not, as my Dad predicted, "hovering right outside the front door." Not quite, anyway.

But it doesn't mean that my palms aren't a little sweatier than usual today as I try to focus on all those things that are so hard to do with a baby in one arm. Since we're being honest, I'm still pretty nervous.

And if I'm even more honest, I'm not sure which is making me more nervous: the idea that my baby boy will have a major meltdown in my absence, or the idea that he won't miss me at all. I want him to be his own independent person and develop his own relationships. At the same time I selfishly want him to need me always, the way he did the first moment he was born -- when the delivery nurse put him on my chest, slimy but open-eyed, and he gave me a look that said "Mom, what the hell just happened to me?"

Of course, the sensible person in me knows that the healthy reality is somewhere in between: a combination of attachment and independence, unconditional love and personal freedom. I have a feeling that these mixed feelings and cross-purposes are only going to intensify as motherhood goes on.

Guess I'd better get used to it.