Maybe it's because I so desperately needed a break from the daily routine. Maybe I needed the extra sleep. Maybe I needed the time alone with my husband. Maybe it's because I caught the first glimpse of the terrible twos. While it was sad leaving him, I must admit I appreciated the thought that I'd have a few days off of bedtime duties, a few days off of packing lunches, a few days off of the diaper changing. I might be a bad mom for admitting a sense of relief, but I had five days of distractions that kept me from being too sad or guilty.
I spent three days drafting notes for my parents. I included routines, menus, rainy day activities, emergency contacts. I shopped for his favorite foods in case he went on a macaroni only diet while I was away. I made a goody bag of new toys, art supplies and even a movie in case things got desperate. There was a bottle of wine in the fridge because I knew there would be some desperate times.
The first day went well. I got a good report from the night before. Bennett slept in, something he doesn't do when we're on duty. He ate pancakes and they were headed to the mall for some summer pajamas since it was already 80 degrees at 10 am. It was all rainbows and sunshine. I was thrilled.
Approximately 24 hours later, I made another call. The conversation included some lovely soundbites: "This is a side of Bennett we've never seen before." and "We'll be glad when you get home." We wouldn't be home for another three days. Apparently, the guilt took a late flight out to follow me to California. It wasn't invited.
But I got some happier texts later on the weekend. Pants-less pictures. Smiling pictures. Bubbles pictures. Eating a hot dog pictures. It made me feel slightly less awful. When I got home I was tickled when he came running to me. I was also happy to hear he got a new tooth. It's good to have something else to blame the toddler-ness on besides missing mommy. I wouldn't be able to leave my child ever again. It's also good to know that we agreed we wouldn't be traveling sans bebe for a long time, teething or otherwise. We're not just a couple anymore. We're a family and while absence does make the heart grow fonder, there isn't enough wine in the world to show our true appreciation. We know what a tough job it is parenting our little stinker/barnacle/angel.