Sunday, June 8, 2008

On Leaving Wendy

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.


Fresh Girl said...

I'm glad your night away went well for both of you! I know you must feel much better knowing she handled it okay, and it'll make it easier to leave her the next time, I'll bet.

My 16 month old nephew has been spending one night a week with me and his Mamaw & Papaw (his daddy's parents) and one night a week with his other grandparents since he was three or four months old. Actually, he started out just spending the night with us, but after a couple of months his Nana got kinda envious and decided she wanted a night with him of her own. ;) So since he's been doing it most of his life, it's normal for him and he's never cried when they left him or anything. In fact, I think it makes them feel just a little bad that they can hardly get him to acknowledge them when they start to leave. heee! He's too busy playing with his toys he hadn't seen for a week. And my SIL loves having a couple of days to sleep in, like you said!

Kelli said...

Come on over and claim your TobyMac DVD/CD package!!!!

Jill said...

The first one's the hardest.
It gets easier.

Heather said...

Wow, you are so brave! I know I felt those same pangs when I had to leave Ladybug for just a few hours. I am SO not ready for an overnighter! (Plus we're still nursing, so she would miss her milk!)

I know it gets easier, but I think you should be proud that you made it through the first one!

Eco said...

I still haven't tackled this obstacle. So congrats to you and Wendy for making it through without incident. My parents live in town and we've left Corban with them for several hours, but overnight is something that will happen soon, I'm sure.