Since my last post, quite a bit has been happening in our little family. I’ll attempt to put together a short update today (yea right, it won’t be short!).
After Halloween was over (sigh…), Kyle was due in Salt Lake City for “racing school”. He got a free pass to go to racing school when we bought his (race)car, and with the additional purchases of a plane ticket and a hotel room, off he went. I was home alone with both kids for two days, and I was pretty anxious.
Kyle’s mom and my mom came to help me with bedtime one evening each. That way, when Ellen’s witching hour arrived, I didn’t have to choose who to pay attention to and try to figure out how to do bedtime with both kids. The backup was much appreciated, and with their help, bedtimes went pretty smoothly.
One of the two nights was rougher than the other, with both kids waking up twice each at the exact same times. But we got through it, and Kyle arrived home in one piece on Friday. Once he was home safely, I was finally able to be happy for him to have the trip. Before he left, I was so nervous that I was having a hard time being happy for him. But he had so much fun with a once in a lifetime experience, he survived (didn’t die, didn’t crash the cars), and I made it through with the kids. So now I’m so happy he went!
Ellen’s little whitecap/tooth situation seems to have improved since Halloween. The tooth hasn’t come through still, but it seems to be bothering her much, much less. Whatever the reason for that is, I’m glad she isn’t suffering anymore.
Lewis’s first 2 year molar is now about 75% of the way out, so we’re on watch for the next one. He has been waking up a lot more at night than he used to the past couple months, but we’re still not attributing that to the molars. He has been handling the teething way better this time around than with any of his previous teeth. We think he has been waking up from nightmares, mostly.
He has always said he dreams about dinosaurs, and recently he seems to have realized that dinosaurs can be scary. Recently, he says he dreamed about dinosaurs that were “bad” and kicked or bit him. Usually he says they came into his bed and made him “upset”. But the other day he slept through the night and I asked him in the morning what he had dreamed about and he said, “nothing! Dinosaurs didn’t come last night!” And they haven’t been back since, apparently. Woohoo!
Now the heavy stuff – I go back to work one week from today.
Cue the crocodile tears.
In reality, I haven’t shed any tears (yet). But I think that’s just because I’m sort of paralyzed with anxiety about it and can’t really wallow in the sadness of it because I’m too busy trying to worry my way to solutions to anticipated/imagined/possible problems Ellen will have at daycare. My planning instinct has kicked in to the maximum degree.
I was away yesterday for about 3.5 hours to have some fun with friends, and Ellen and Lewis were home with Kyle. Ellen screamed for all 3.5 hours I was gone. So… I suppose you can say that I am concerned with how Ellen is going to do being separated from me all day, 5 days a week. She also won’t nap when it is noisy (dangit!), which is another major concern.
Will she figure it all out eventually? Oh yes. She will. I don’t have any long-term concerns about Ellen at daycare. Especially since she’s going to a place I know is wonderful. But the transition may be hard for her, and it will definitely be hard for me. I am so uncomfortable relinquishing control, so I’m trying to anticipate everything I can in order to maintain my sanity. If I can’t be with Ellen, at least I can equip her teachers.
We’ve coordinated all the “stuff”, and I’ve got a decent freezer stash of breastmilk. That’s the easy part. The hard per is that the teachers are going to have to get to know her, just like I did. They’ll have to learn her signals and how to comfort her. They’ll have to figure out how to get her to sleep and take a bottle. I can’t teach them that, so I just have to let go and trust. And that is hard.
She’s my baby, you know? Yes, it’s easier this time than it was with Lewis – for a whole host of reasons. But she’s still my baby, and leaving your tiny baby in someone else’s care when they’re this young is still just so…against a mother’s instincts. She still needs me, literally physically. And we’re still so in the throes of early bonding…
I’ll never be able to get these early days back. It is so devastating to turn her over and walk away. Even knowing how it all turns out fine when they’re older, I still can’t shake the feeling that I’m supposed to be the one taking care of Ellen still. She and I are not ready.
But our readiness matters naught. We have no other solution. I have to work. We are drowning in medical bills (and regular bills!), and two incomes are a must. Even with two incomes, it will be a struggle financially. So I just have to toughen up and deal with it. Not exactly an easy feat for a still-hormonal, less-than-3-months-postpartum mother.
Missing my babies is a physical sensation, and I’m already feeling it ahead of leaving Ellen next week. I have to try to soak up and enjoy every minute of her this week, and put those feelings of dread away, lest they sour the time we have left together.
I am grateful for the time I’ve had at home with Ellen. I’m luckier than a lot of other American moms. If I really think hard about it, I can see that. But it is definitely tough to see the silver linings of going back to work, when being home with Ellen is pure gold. I’ll just miss her so, so much. All I can hope for is that all my concerns don’t turn into reality, and she handles the transition better than I will.