I was very fortunate to have my boyfriend at home for the first six weeks of life of my son. He was entitled to three weeks of paternity leave which began the day our boy was born. Because we were so close to Christmas, he was able to extend his stay at home by taking a week of vacation before his two-week festive season off time. I LOVED having him at home; besides being able to take on the household chores whilst I concentrated on feeding myself, feeding my baby and sleeping as much as I could to avoid irrevocably becoming a zombie, he was also there to talk to. He was there to listen to (and sometimes share) the worries that plague a first-time parent (is this *insert situation* normal?). He was also there to provide me with intelligent conversation (well, as intelligent as my emotionally-overloaded-sleep-deprrived brain could handle).
Now, he has been back to work for a week, turning me into a part-time single stay at home mom. Plus, for his first three weeks back, he has to leave early and stay late, which gives me roughly 12 hours of alone day time with my baby. Frankly, it has been a hard week of adjusting to this new situation. I mean, after all, my son spent this past week acting like “clingy” and “cranky” were the new hip words. Plus, well, if you read my last post you’ll know that he (and thus I) had sleep issues. However, these were part of a somewhat normal routine for me and I found I was able to deal with them easily enough (most of the time). What I found more difficult was the lack of social interaction. I mean, I’ve always been pretty quiet and independent, but now that my days are filled with acting like a one-man (or rather, one-woman) circus act with my son, I crave being able to talk to someone who can talk back to me.
This week, I also experienced my first solo mom outing with my son. Since there was no breakfast left (yes…that makes for a very happy mommy…) I had to go out to get some essentials at the grocery store. This scared the heck out of me because my son had been acting cranky for the past few days. Of course, being the procrastinator that I am, I hadn’t attached my son’s car seat base in my car because we always took my partner’s car to go out. Except, this time, my partner left with his car to go to work so I had to take care of it. I put my son in his crib (after changing, nursing and burping him) and cranked up his mobile. Then, I quickly went downstairs to grab the car seat base and came back up to put on my winter gear. I quickly left the house crossing my fingers so that my son wouldn’t panic because he couldn’t hear me and fiddled with the seat belt to get the base set up. When I came back in the house, I was pleased to notice that, contrary to what I was expecting, my son wasn’t crying his heart out. He was actually looking up at his mobile smiling at it (so cute when he does that!). Of course, then I had to get him strapped into his car seat (enter cranky baby), jot down on a scrap of paper the few things I needed to buy (because my brain has trouble remembering anything that has nothing to do with my son) and lugged the heavy baby-filled car seat out of the house. I locked the door, took my time to get to my car as the path was icy and got my son in the car.
By this time, the rocking motion of the car seat had calmed him down. I started the car and was about to leave when I realized that I had forgotten my wallet inside “s***”. I took my keys out of the ignition, turned around to look at my little one and decided that he could stay 30 seconds alone in the car. I raced back up to the house, praying that I wouldn’t skate my way to the door on my bum and retrieved my wallet without taking off my boots (didn’t even care that I would probably be stepping in the melted snow in my socks when I came back). When I got back to the car, Mr. Whiny was starting to appear so I started the engine again and took off. He fell asleep within 30 seconds and we made it to the grocery store without a snag.
Of course, once inside I realized that I had to get him in a shopping cart, so I just put the whole car seat in the cart (it was so funny, he took up pretty much all the space in the cart) and fished out the list I had jotted down from my pocket. Except it wasn’t there; I had left it on the kitchen table. Despite that fact, I still managed to purchase almost everything I needed. Next time, I’m planning on being a little more organized when I have to leave the house.