I often get to take Sam out of the house to have our dates, just the two of us, leaving Jamie in the care of my Mother-in-law. It’s fun because she is at an age where she is wonderful to converse to and is full of energy. I think she knows that she gets my full attention too, so she enjoys it as well. We’re never gone for long though, because Jamie still nurses directly from me and so we’re always rushing to get back.
I’d have to admit that Jamie’s constantly on my mind when I’m not with her. That is normal they say; it’s only been a few weeks after all. My husband says that she’s developed this “mommy cry” too, where she only stops crying when she knows it’s me that’s holding her — obviously, she looks for me. I also want to be there for the changes and milestones she’ll go through, as I was with Sam. And so inasmuch as I enjoy time away with Sam, I am eager to get back to Jamie.
Now, Jamie and I had our first day alone together yesterday. My husband and Sam went with my Mother-in-law to Winston-Salem to visit a friend of hers for Easter. They spent the latter part of the afternoon at the outlet mall in Mebane too, and only returned later that night close to bedtime.
It turned out to be an easy day with one child all to myself. Jamie likes to sleep, so I was able to get a lot done. I was able to do a lot of the chores, pump milk, sell a microwave, watch TV and I still had enough energy to take Jamie out to get some chairs for their playroom (more on this in another post soon). The single stroller suddenly felt so light and easy to maneuver as compared to the double stroller I’ve been lugging around for the past few weeks. I even got Jamie to drink from a bottle for the first time, something I hadn’t had time to focus on previously.
It was a nice experience just the two of us, and we did things that were just suitable for Jamie without having to really thinking of how it would affect Sam. There wasn’t a need to swaddle her or sling her so that I could run after the other one or multitask to the highest heavens. I felt like Kelly Ripa in the Electrolux commercial (without the dog and the glammed up look).
So Jamie and I had a great opportunity to get to know each other a little bit better. And while I liked my alone time with her as well, I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss Sam. It’s understandable (and so I’m told — normal), since she had been my date everyday all day for the past two years, and was now suddenly off doing things without me.
My husband has taken to making little videos of Sam’s adventures when he takes her out, and so in the middle of the day I received Sam’s “first” Easter Egghunt.
While I was happy to see she had a good time, I felt a little strange and sad that I had missed this “milestone”. Previously I had always been there, or been the first one to take her to do new things. When she came home she burst into the house all madungis (Filipino term for grubby) and amoy-araw (Filipino phrase to connote that she smelled as if she was out in the sun and the streets all day) with chocolate ice cream all over her face, I was all too happy to hug her. I kept telling her I missed her but all I got were stories of Claudia and Olivia, her playmates for the day, and how she had so much fun with them.
Before bedtime I gave her a bath and listened to her continue to sing and talk about her day. At the end while I toweled her off she said to me without any prompting, “I’m happy to see you mom,” and then gave me a tight hug. 🙂 I think I felt a whole lot better after that.
Sooner than later, Jamie will be old enough to do be independent of me too. Will she miss me like I would miss her? I don’t know if time is the cure to the adjustment, or if there will ever be a cure. I will never not miss either of my girls when I’m not with them.
I went to bed that night between them both, with a prayer that no matter how old they’d be, they would go on and have their adventures but would always come home happy to see me. And hopefully there will never be an end to enjoyable dates with their aging mother.