The first time I was away from Avery, I felt this empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. She was about a month old and I was simply at a pot luck dinner lasting no more than an hour and half. I thought of her the entire time. And I felt guilty; like I was doing something wrong by not being with her. When I came back home, I held her and cried while constantly kissing her head. Some would call these hormones; I would agree.
My first day back to work on January 3 had a similar feeling. When the clock turned to 10:00am, I started getting hungry because when Avery ate, I normally got a snack too. At 11:00am, I started swaying in my classroom, because Avery was getting ready for her nap. That day was the longest I had ever been apart from her.
Now we are here, February 19. Avery has been going to my friend's house during the day while we're at work and I'm fine. It helps that she's an incredible sleeper and I leave before she wakes up, but I'm still doing fine being apart from her. Not today though.
Ken and I are closet Mardi Gras innerkrewe captains. If you even know what that means, then, well, you know what we're talking about. This evening was our parade in the French Quarter. I have not been as involved this year because when Ken goes to meetings, I'm home with baby. All that to say, we knew tonight would be Avery's first non-family-night babysitter. A great friend from church was going to watch her, we were thrilled.
The run-down only took 30 minutes (sarcasm...I explained everything) and we were on our way. As we left, Avery started crying. Like "sad pouty baby crying" not, "i'm tired" or "i'm hungry" or "i don't like it when you sit on the couch, stand up now because i like that better" cry. I think she knew we were leaving, and she was sad.
Our friend called while we were driving to our parade saying Avery won't stop crying and she's not eating her bottle. Red flag: have you seen our girl? She eats. So when she doesn't eat, my maternal instincts tell me that something is off. Ken knew then that I was going to head home, even though we didn't reach that conclusion till later, he could tell by how I was acting.
I get home after being gone for a little less than an hour, and Avery is sobbing. I get her in my arms, her face red and snotty and I start talking to her, and instantly, my voice soothed her and she was fine. She was smiley again. I think she knew we were gone. I think it's the first time.
Can a 5 month old have separation anxiety? I humbly say that Avery is very advanced, but I think this is a little soon. Now, she is wearing 9 month old clothes- maybe she's on the fast track.
All that to say, even though I didn't get to parade this year, even though Avery was not down with a babysitter just yet, it felt really great to know that she knows me, and knows when I'm with her. She makes everything in my life more beautiful.