Posted by: emjb | January 10, 2006

Eerily quiet

I had forgotten how dead quiet this apartment can get without a baby in it…or a tired parent holding a sleeping baby and watching Law and Order at 3 am. Matt and Nathan made it to Texas successfully and are now in the excellent care of his folks. I called to check in and heard Nathan fussing in the background, and was stabbed with a little guilt. But just a little. I am enjoying the quiet, the prospect of sleep, and an apartment that’s cleaner and less cluttered than its been in about 5 months, when I got too pregnant to care about such things.

Nathan apparently was sweet and quiet in his baby Snugli the whole trip. But Matt got interrogated by various busybody women who couldn’t believe I would let him take the baby somewhere without me. So either I’m a horrible mother who hasn’t bonded with her baby, or they’ve got some messed-up ideas about what mothers and fathers can do. I mean, if I was breastfeeding, it wouldn’t work, but I’m not. One stewardess apparently questioned Matt intensively before she would let him on the plane…he said he got the feeling she thought he might have just stolen the baby. What the fuck’s up with that? I mean, it’s funny…but it’s pretty damn insulting to my husband.

He also had a few women chastise him for not holding the baby’s head up enough during the flight.* Now I’m absolutely sure that I probably did an equal amount of mis-handling of Nathan when I flew with him, but I guess I got a pass since I’m the mom.

I’m tempted to be sad here, to second-guess myself as Bad Mother Who Sent Away Her Baby, to spend the next week or so hanging my head and feeling guilt and remorse. But I’m not going to do that. I will take my break and go back to Nathan a bit refreshed (it’s amazing that packing up an entire apartment and cleaning it feels like less work than a baby, isn’t it?). I’m going to say goodbye to the city and my nice co-workers and all that the last four years have been about, and enjoy the chance to do it. No one wants to begrudge me happiness but myself…or if they do, I’m going to ignore ’em.

I did have to take a sleeping pill though. I’m just not used to regular bedtimes anymore.

*You cannot possibly hold a newborn’s head up correctly all the time. They tend to lose control just when you’re trying to move them and jerk forwards or back before you can grab them. I mean, you have to try, but you’re going to miss at least once or twice. Fortunately, it’s not fatal, or even damaging, provided you don’t let them take a header onto the floor.

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