Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Feeling appreciated

I knew that leaving to go to San Jose for my first return business trip would be hard. I got that same sad, sick feeling I use to get when Jason and I were first together the closer we got to the airport. Lucy, however, didn’t really seem to care; it’s funny how selfish 3 month old babies can be. When we pulled into the unload area of the airport I made a small whiney sound and Jason assured me that I would be ok. I assured him the same thing… “you’ll do great!” Then he kissed me and drove off with our most precious cargo. I zipped into the airport and was immediately caught up in the busy travel process and then was occupied all day with work stuff.

That night I started to get text messages with pictures of our girl during dinner time, hang with daddy time, and bedtime. I was happy to get the pictures. In fact, I was thrilled to get them, but it sucked not being home.
I thought that the one secret delight about being away would be the uninterrupted sleep – but even that wasn’t as satisfying as you might think. Heck, last night I didn’t go to sleep until after midnight and so I still got my standard 6 hours. Maybe I’ll nap on the airplane this afternoon.

Lucy this morning
Jason and I talk every morning and evening – we run through the events of the day, notable news stories, the weather – anything to keep talking. He has been keeping me up to date about what his single parenting (half) week has been like. He has been doing a great job, but I can tell Jason is tired. It is draining to be on the hook for everything, every peep, diaper, boredom moment, tired snuggle and never ending demand for food at the exact second she wants it. When I was on maternity leave I loved the solo time with Lucy, but things were infinitely easier with both Jason and I at home. The most challenging part of solo parenting for Jason is that his work schedule is NOT FLEXIBLE, so to get Lucy to “school” and him to work by his regular time takes a bit of effort. Lucy, as cute as she is, won’t bend to his needs either. (Remember, she’s selfish.) Just because he needs to get her ready for school (dressed, new diaper, food…) doesn’t mean she’s going to cooperate. She can’t really do much about the wardrobe changes, the diaper updates or the car seat, but she can flat out refuse to eat if she’s not hungry at that exact moment. (never mind that 10 minutes later she’s going to want to eat.) With a short window between the time of wakeup and the required foot out the door, if she won’t eat she does to “school” with no breakfast. Thankfully, Miss Miriam and Miss Alexis are paid to deal with this, but I know it sucked for Jason to drop off Lucy in a hungry state. She may not be hungry at 6:30 when the food is offered and available, but she will decide to be hungry at 7:00 when they’re running out the door.

One of the activities Dad knew was on his to do list was a bath. This is usually a two person operation, one of us entertains Lucy, gets her undressed, does “pee management” (which means uncorking the diaper and exposing her girlie bits to the air to see if that causes the last bit of pee to come out before she hits the water) and brings her to the washing station. Meanwhile the other team member is gathering the tub, the washcloths, towels, new clothes, new diaper, soap… and warming the water to the perfect temperature. Bath time is very social. Once all that is done we start the bath, which is the fun part. She’s pretty happy in the tub and of course, cute as hell. (then the clean up cycle begins where one person manages Lucy while the other dries the tub and puts all the accessories away.

Last night, Lucy needed an emergency bath due to an unfortunate spit up incident and Jason had to work all that out himself with little prep time.  He told me all about the incident, the bath and then said “don’t expect the house to be clean when you get home.” I’m pretty sure the bath stuff will be on the counter when I get home.  Honestly, I only care that he and Lucy are happy. We can pick up the house tonight. Laundry, which hasn’t been touched will get done before the long weekend is over.

I knew Jason would be fine this week, but I also hoped that all the ‘mommy’ things I do would come into stronger focus. This morning, after getting a text message with a cute pix of Lucy I got the morning phone call and was told that Jason couldn’t wait for me to get home. I can’t wait either, but Jason is not only eager to see me, but to have his co-parent/partner back. “One thing is for sure,” Jason said “we make a great team.” Amen to that – two is better than one! I do feel VERY appreciated.
I am thankful that I only have to travel once a month and I’m sure Jason is too. I was informed that tonight, if Lucy needs anything at 2am that I’m “on duty”. I smiled when he said it because while he needs and deserves the full night sleep, if he wanted to do the 2 am feeding he’d have to wrestle me for it. I can’t wait to get my hands on that kid. I get home at 6 and she is asleep by 7:30-8:00 so 2 hours won’t be enough to satisfy my Lucy deficit. I wonder if I can get on the earlier flight…

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