Lola Flew the Coop! (and everyone survived)

On Friday afternoon I just about hit my emotional limit.

I had been planning a weekend away for a few months now.  I have a couple of really great girlfriends who are about to welcome new babies, and I really wanted to see them before the babies migrated from the inside to the outside!  It seemed so far away when I planned the trip, but the time flew by.  Suddenly it was last weekend and I realized, “Oh crap, I’m leaving next weekend for 2 nights.  I honestly don’t know if I can – or should – do this.”

Truth be told, I really wanted to go.  I was craving a couple of days to myself.  But Middle is not yet 8 months old, and that alone made me feel pretty uneasy.  I didn’t leave Poppyseed at home with Oatmeal for a weekend until she was nearly 1 year, and frankly she was a much easier baby!

And here’s some more honesty.  I really wasn’t sure how everyone would do without me.  When we only had one kid, Oatmeal was a PRO.  There was nothing that he couldn’t do with Poppyseed.   She was only 7 weeks old the first time I left her in his care for an entire day (7-8 hours I believe) and it was pretty typical for her to go on errands with him on the weekends.  He was so good with her.  He could feed her, put her to bed, calm her down if something happened, etc.  And the icing on the cake was that he loved spending one on one time with her!  He was so proud of his little girl and loved being a daddy so much.  It never felt like I was asking him for a favor if I wanted him to watch her for a few hours or or a few days.

I expected the same thing to happen when we had Middle.  If anything I assumed it would be magnified since he was a boy!  Oatmeal had wanted a little boy so badly, so I assumed they would be best buds from Day 1.  Now obviously Oatmeal loves our son more than words can say, but when Middle was born we sort of unintentionally began to “Divide and Conquer.”   That pretty much meant that I was 1 on 1 with Middle Baby while Oatmeal was 1 on 1 with Poppyseed.  It became sort of habitual, and frankly the kids seemed to prefer it that way!  Poppyseed is a daddy’s girl, and Middle is definitely all about the boob.  Ha.

Fast forward 7 months, and not much has really changed!  Oatmeal does quite a bit with Baby Middle – feeds him solids, changes his diapers, bathes him, plays with him, etc.  The difference is that I am usually right there, and he never takes Middle on any one-on-one errands.  We spend most of our free time as a family of four, and when we do split up, it was always Lola/Middle and Oatmeal/Poppyseed.

So, the idea of leaving both kids with Oatmeal was very daunting.  All week the following thoughts circled my mind:

“Middle is going to get upset and fussy, and Oatmeal isn’t going to know what to do.   Then he’s going to lose his patience and everyone is just going to be completely miserable.”

“I just know that Poppyseed is going to be jealous that Oatmeal is spending just as much time with Middle.  It will be really frustrating to Oatmeal that he has to discipline Poppyseed, and he may be too harsh.  She will be crushed if she just gets in trouble all weekend.”

“Middle still wakes every 2-3 hours on some nights, and sometimes has trouble going back to sleep.  Oatmeal is likely to sleep through those wakings, and my poor Middle will sob all night long and think he’s been abandoned.”

I fretted all week, but hoped that I would feel better when it was time to go.  On Friday morning I packed my bags and anxiously awaited Oatmeal’s return from work.  He got home about a half hour later than he said he would.  I can’t lie, that half hour just about put me over the edge!

I wish I could say that he gave me a loving hug and reassured me that I deserved a weekend away, but he looked completely frazzled that he had to leave work early. He didn’t say it, but it was pretty obvious that he was less than thrilled at being left behind with a rather difficult, poorly sleeping, breastfed baby and an almost-3 year old.  To compound everything, all of the pollen in the air has given both tots congestion and runny noses.

I said my goodbyes and walked out the door.  Then I walked back in and grabbed a few last minute travel items.  Then I walked back outside and sort of paced the garage a bit.  “I really wish he would just make me feel better about this…”  I returned to the house a second time and summoned Oatmeal into the hallway with me, where I promptly turned into a sprinkler.  It wasn’t until the waterworks started that he gave me a hug and said something along the lines of “Honey I got this, just go and have fun and don’t worry.”  I knew that was about as good as I was going to get from him, and the idea of texting my friends and canceling seemed like the worst thing ever.  So I wiped my eyes, walked out the door for the third and final time,  and sped away.

AND I AM SO GLAD I DID.

It was the best weekend.

It’s true, once I was actually on the road I loved every minute of it.  I listened to all of my favorite music on the drive to San Antonio.  I sang at the top of my lungs.  I met Johanna at a trendy farm-to-table restaurant at 7pm.  Usually I’m putting kids to bed on Fridays at that hour!  I loved being able to really look at the menu, talk to the waiter, and savor every bite.  Johanna is roughly 2 weeks away from giving birth to her fourth baby, so I know she enjoyed it as much as I did.  We both really needed and appreciated that dinner.  (Thanks to James for keeping their trio of littles!)

I spent the night at her house on Friday night and then drove into Horseshoe Bay on Saturday morning.  I got to see some old friends and spend the day at the pool.  We laughed and laughed, enjoyed frozen drinks, and I got a ridiculous sunburn.  We made dinner at the lakehouse and I probably consumed three pounds of cheese.  I went to bed at 10pm and slept like a rock.

IMG_1275

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The trip was just amazing and it made me feel like my old self.  The change of pace, new scenery, and familiar faces really rejuvenated me.

The only down side of my trip was that I had to pump every 3-4 hours.  I was a pumping pro when Poppyseed was a baby, but something has just gone wrong ever since having Middle.  I will pump and pump and pump, but very little milk comes out.  It’s not unusual for me to pump for 20+ minutes and feel letdown after letdown without seeing a drop.  It seemed to be okay on Friday and Saturday morning, but on Saturday afternoon I couldn’t seem to get anything out.  I pumped for an entire hour on Saturday evening and only got about 3 ounces, and I felt like I probably had about 10 more to go.  I tried different tubing, different size shields, and a couple of other troubleshooting ideas.  Ultimately I gave up and went to sleep.  I woke up at 3:30am to burning pain and thought, “Uh oh.  This is NOT good.”  I knew I could either go sit in the living room and just try to get it out for the next couple of hours, or go home to my baby.

So at 3:55am I turned on the engine to my car and drove away in the darkness.  I got home at 7am and walked awkwardly to the nursery.  Within a few minutes of Middle beginning to eat, I felt so much better.  It’s so baffling that those pumps can work for hours and barely express any milk, yet those teeny little mouths are so efficient!  I think if I had wasted any more time I would have ended up with a bad case of mastitis, so it all worked out perfectly that I came home.

And guess what?  Oatmeal and the kids did GREAT.  Better than great.  Oatmeal sent me pictures all weekend.  He took them to the park not once, not twice, but three times on Saturday.  He made all of their meals at home.  He took Poppyseed for ice cream.

This was the first of many pictures that I received while on my trip...

This was the first of many pictures that I received while on my trip…

Gotta love how his dad simply hands over the bottle and lets him feed himself!

Gotta love how his dad simply hands over the bottle and lets him feed himself!

Heading to the park.

Heading to the park.

Letting his daughter climb way too high...

Letting his daughter climb way too high…

More time in the sun.  What do we do when Daddy's home?  Play, play, play...

More time in the sun. What do we do when Daddy’s home? Play, play, play…

The photo he took when no one napped... hehe.

The photo he took when no one napped… hehe.

It's clear that she took this picture seriously.

It’s clear that she took this picture seriously.

An assist from the sis.

An assist from the sis.

He set his alarm for every few hours during the night so that he wouldn’t sleep through Middle’s night wakings, but said that he didn’t even need to do that because he woke up every time he heard a peep.  He actually really helped me out because Middle slept a LOT better when I wasn’t there, and we made a point to try and encourage those good sleeping habits last night.  I had been too much of a softie to make Middle go longer than about 5 hours without a feeding, but Oatmeal stretched that out to 7 hours.  Last night he slept from 7pm-3am without a feeding!  I woke up at 3am feeling like a new woman!

In the past, Oatmeal always boasted that keeping Poppyseed for a weekend was nothing but fun and games.  I could tell that this was a little bit different, and my hubby did admit that it wasn’t a total walk in the park.  As we each predicted, Poppyseed did have some jealous moments.  He reported that they both napped horribly on Saturday because of their stuffy noses.  He had to use the Nose Frida on the baby (which he has always refused to use in the past) and even texted me to ask what essential oils would help them breathe.  He mentioned that Middle was pretty out of sorts at one point, but said that he fixed it by giving him a bottle and walking outside.

I have to admit that I was impressed, but more than anything I was relieved.  It felt like a huge weight lifted was off of my shoulders when I realized that I can leave my baby daddy with my babies and feel confident that everyone will be taken care of without too much stress!

It also worked in our favor that I was home by 7am on Sunday morning.  We still got to spend the whole day together.  We took the kids to the park together (much easier with teamwork) and dropped in on a local crawfish boil.  It was a very relaxed day, and even though today is  Monday I feel so refreshed.  I’m glad to be back at home with my family, and thankful for the weekend away.

This was just something I wanted to document so that I remember it when some time has passed.  If you have made it this far into this blog, I would love to hear how it went the first time you left your babies with your husband!  It can be harder than it sounds, right?!

Back at home with my Poppyseed!  We had the greatest day today.

Back at home with my Poppyseed! We had the greatest day today.

 

 

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