Saturday, April 04, 2009

Mr. Mom

We are in the midst of a very momentous occasion. Since Mädchen was born almost three years ago, Gretchen has never been away for the weekend on her own--not once. Until now, that is.

It's not that she hasn't wanted to go away, or that I haven't wanted her to, but circumstances just turned out that way. First, Mädchen refused to ever take a bottle. As a result, while Gretchen was nursing it wasn't an option for her to go away and leave me to give her bottles. Then, once she stopped nursing and started drinking milk from a cup, she went through an extremely intense Mommy-attachment phase. Not that she didn't like to be with me, but for any time longer than an hour or two away from Gretchen, she would be inconsolably hysterical. Once she got over that, she had a long stretch where she woke up at least once every single night, and she would only let Gretchen go to her. That phase finally passed about six months ago, so she probably could have gone away but the opportunity just never came up.

One of Gretchen's closest friends (whose kids are some of Mädchen's best friends, and who is basically responsible for introducing the two of us) is moving out to California. Since Gretchen knew it would be really tough for her friend to get three kids (two of whom are toddlers) through Dulles Airport and keep them entertained on the long flight to San Francisco, Gretchen decided to help them out and fly out with them. She won't have much time in the Bay Area, unfortunately--she's going to turn around and fly back tomorrow night. Still, I think it will be liberating for her (and she already has another trip planned).

As for me, I get a real taste of what Gretchen goes through every day--making sure Mädchen is dressed and fed, dealing with her two-year-old mood swings, keeping her entertained, cleaning the house, etc. It's only been a half-day so far, and Mädchen has been in a great mood, but I'm already exhausted!

As for Gretchen (who just sent me a picture on my cellphone that she took of the blue California sky from the Bay Bridge), I know her excitement about being away by herself is tempered by having to say goodbye to one of her oldest and closest friends. It's going to be a rough goodbye tomorrow night...



Mädchen and her good friend: