Maternity leave is over and I am back at work. Sigh. It has been a rough week. I had to drop the Boy off at Montessori School for his first full day. It was what I had been dreading for weeks. I had envisioned him crying and screaming, clinging on to my legs, wailing like a banshee, and me wailing right along with him. It didn't quite go down that way- the Boy had a much more effective tactic.
When we arrived, he simply tucked his sweet little face into my neck, and wrapped his arms around my shoulders. When they finally pulled him off me, he tucked his little face into the neck of his teacher and stared at me with pleading eyes, and a trembling lower lip. If you listen very carefully just now, you might hear my heart break all over again as I recall that scene. His quiet protest left me feeling like I was the hunter who just killed Bambi's mother. Such was the doe eyed look of misery I received.
My first day back at work was jammed packed with new things I needed to learn, and old things I had to relearn, new names and faces to memorize, and a thousand tasks that all demanded my immediate attention. All of it important. All of it with "right now" status. All of it taking a mental back seat to "I wonder how he is doing?" "Why did I leave him there" "Is he eating?" "Why did I not get a better job?" "I hope they can get him to sleep" "Oh god, I hope he knows I am coming back for him" "Is he crying?" "I am a terrible mother". Oh man there is nothing more powerful, more all consuming, more destructive to the human psyche than guilt.
Of course I had one arse cheek up off the chair, waiting for the end of the working day so I could leap out of there and race to get my son.
I could hear the crying as I walked down the hall to the infants room (he is only 11 months old). But wait, that didn't sound like the Boy. No, that is not him at all! I open the door to see each of the teachers crawling with wailing babies, and where is my boy? Over by the wall, opening and closing the little drawers and dials they have there. He doesn't even look up as I ask his teachers how he did- I even had to raise my voice a little so they could hear me over the caterwauling. He didn't even flinch. Just kept right on working.
It seems my Boy was one of the "happy ones". He had a great day. Their only concern was that he hadn't pooed, nor would he sleep. They put him in his crib, and he cuddled his MooCow, and simply stared at all the sleeping babies. But would not fall asleep himself. I guess he wanted to scope the place out. He is a strange child.
And in the days since then, the pattern established on the first day has continued. When I go to pick him up he hardly knows I am there- and when he does notice my presence he dutifully crawls over and hugs my legs. Then, when we arrive home he poos. Thanks for saving that little joy for Mommy kid. Yes, that is exactly what I needed. Why, oh why, can't you make this deposit at school? Perhaps I have a little anal retentive baby on my hands.
Naaa, I think he just takes after his Dad.