It’s been so very long since I’ve taken time to sit and think about my life right now. Never mind thinking and typing about it! But I do have lots of updates since my last post, way back on October 13.
First, and foremost, Paige is 1! She is a toddling 1 year old, who loves to always be on the move; whether she’s trying to run, jump or just be held while she points you to this and that, she usually prefers to be constantly moving. She does sit, however, to read books, or throw balls, or eat or listen and imitate what you say. She is getting to be quite a little parrot. Her concentration for listening and hearing sounds so precisely as to be able to repeat them ever so exactly is amazing to me. So is her determination to imitate actions that she sees us do, whether we are intentionally wanting her to do them or not.
Her first birthday party was busy. There were almost 40 people in our little home; luckily we did not have tenants in the basement and could use our whole house! Paige did very well the whole day, eating little and playing lots. Much like myself that day, actually, if you change out “playing” for “constantly busy”; the latter describes Paige that day too! Her party was on a Saturday, her actual birthday being the Thursday prior and I started back to work the Monday after.
It’s been three weeks since I went back to the “real world” of working outside the home, with children I am not related to. I am very fortunate to have an extremely flexible employer who allowed me to ease myself back into my job, first by letting me cut down my total days from 4 days a week to 2.5. And more recently, to let me shorten my actual work days from 8 hours to 7 on the “full” days. I am happy for these considerations, as I’ve also been busy with consulting work, which is irregular and cannot be relied upon as a source of constant income.
The biggest change since I started back to work, however, was not for me. It was for Paige. I went back to the job I had before Paige was born, so nothing new to me, but Paige started going to a day home, a completely foreign idea for her. The first day, she left my arms to walk about and explore. Then I just disappeared. The second day, she was a lot more reluctant to leave my arms, but the second week was even worse. She started crying both days I left her, almost before I had even let her go, because she’d obviously caught on what was happening and still preferred to stay with me.
I should also add that we did do two trial times with the sitter. Both went quite well, albeit were short stays of 1 and 2 hours. The first full day left Paige and I separated for 7 hours. My employer also let me stagger my entry back; starting half hour earlier each week, so that the time Paige and I are apart would gradually lengthen. Even though I am still breastfeeding, I have not been uncomfortable at work, and Paige has been eating lots of food and drinking plenty of water at the day home. She definitely makes up for the lost nursing time when we are together!
Even this past week, Paige has cried when I have handed her away. This is not unusual though, even if she is staying home with Daddy. If I hand her off, and step out the door for any reason, including just getting laundry from the basement, she will cry. But I am happy to report that she gets on famously the rest of the day without me, most of the time. This past week, she even napped for more than an hour in her playpen. Oh, and yes, it’s actually her playpen that I left at the sitter’s house; Paige escaped from the sitter’s playpen on the second day I left her there. We still don’t know how she did it, as she had no toys for leverage and did not tip the whole thing over; she simply, somehow, landed outside the pen and then started banging on the bedroom door!
I do miss Paige during the days I am at work, but I also enjoy the time apart because those days have made the time we have together even more cherished and special. I love my mornings before work with Paige now, even though I am still not a morning person. In fact, I am getting used to being apart from Paige as I have started going out on regular evenings to watch improv and play volleyball. The biggest problem is finding a sitter, because my preferred activities fall on the same nights as James’. And that Paige doesn’t go to sleep very well, or at all, for anyone other than James, our day home lady, or myself.
That’s the next thing on our to-do list! Cheers.