On Friday, something momentous happened. It was uncomfortable and a little bit painful. It could be looked at as a rite of passage, I suppose.
We left Wendy with Grandma & Grandpa overnight.
She's 20 months old, and she had never spent a night away from her Mommy. What's more to the point, I had never spent a night without her in 20 months. Or longer, if you count the nights she kept me awake when I was pregnant.
When we planned to do this a few weeks ago, I was hopeful that it would go well, and I wouldn't be too worried or anxious, and that this would open the door for other sleepovers for Wendy, so that James and I could have some couple-time. I was looking forward to a night without the baby monitor, and the idea of sleeping until I woke up was definitely appealing.
As the night approached, I grew a bit more nervous about it, and was planning and re-planning how it would work out, and figuring out all the stuff I needed to bring to Grandma & Grandpa's house for the evening. It didn't matter that Wendy's spent about 1/4 of her life at Grandma & Grandpa's house, and that she had her own crib there that she slept in quite often. It was the simple fact that my baby was spending the night twenty minutes away from me. What if she needed me? What if she got scared? What if she needed her milk, and no one fixed her milk just right?
Even as I type that, I know it sounds ridiculous. My parents are perfectly capable, and in fact raised two children to adulthood without incident. (Except for the time my mom lost us both in the same day in a foreign country - a story for another day.) They'd be able to change her diaper, feed her, soothe her, and even get her a cup of milk. Wendy has spent tons of time with them, so she's perfectly comfortable in their care and at their house.
James and I brought Wendy over around dinnertime, so that we could all eat together. After a bit of playing and a bath, we tucked her into her crib there as we do many nights when we stay past her bedtime. She had her Bear and her Kitty and her Blankie, so we said a bedtime prayer and kissed her goodnight & shut the door. As soon as I knew she was asleep, we left.
I was doing fine, really. Until we got in the car and James asked, "Do you have everything you need?" My eyes flew to the rearview mirror and the reflection of the empty carseat. "NO!!" I wailed, "Just start the car and let's go!" I calmed down within a few minutes, but it was not easy.
And I did enjoy my baby-free night & morning. I managed to wait until 8 a.m. to call and check on her, figuring that she would surely be up by then, as she rarely sleeps past 7 a.m. these days. Grandpa answered the phone and said that he had figured I'd be calling to check on her. I asked how she slept, and if she woke up OK, and he said, "She was fine. She woke up saying, 'Mama, Mama, Mama...' "
That gave me the sniffles again, but all was well. We survived our night apart. I was SO glad to see her when we got there on Saturday - and she'll be spending the night at Grandma & Grandpa's fairly often in the future.