When I think of firsts in the life of a child, so many happen within the first year (first smile, first tooth, first haircut, first steps, etc), that you forget (or at least I did) the impact a 'first' has when it's been awhile since one has occurred. This was a big week for firsts. First time trying (and loving!) zucchini. First time with a babysitter that's not daycare. And the big one...your first overnight. Without us.
Let's start with the easiest! Zucchini. You're just over two. I fully expect you to not enjoy vegetables. Yet, I'm constantly amazed at your interest in chomping carrots, nibbling corn (on the cob, no less), shoving peas and beans in your mouth, and now the latest, zucchini. I hope you are always this enthusiastic about your veggies. And hey, if dipping in ketchup or dressing makes them taste better, I'm all for it.
So on Thursday night, I had my first solo outing in a long time. Dad had to work, and I was going to a taping of my favorite NPR show, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me. (I seriously hope this show is still around when you're old enough to appreciate it.) I tried to finagle in my head some reasonable options for how you could not need a babysitter, but in the end, it's just what ended up happening. On a recommendation, yet sight unseen, this stranger comes to watch you. To feed you dinner, put you to bed.
Thankfully, I trust the judgment of the recommend-er, and thus somehow felt ok about just leaving you with someone I hadn't even ever met, let alone really knew anything about. In the end it all worked out, she was great, you were great, and I was able to have a grand evening to myself. (When you're old enough, I'll regale you with tales of Suzy McDrunk, who occupied the seat next to me and almost *almost* ruined my night.)
The hardest part for me is not being the one to put you to bed. Sure, Dad has put you to bed a few times, but really, only a few...because that's our special time. From way back in the early days when I nursed you, I am the one who rocks you, reads to you, puts your pjs on, and tucks you in. It's my most favorite part of the day. So knowing that someone else was doing this for you was a hard pill to swallow. But it had to be done, and like always, you went to bed without fuss and leapt into dreamland without a care. You seemed no worse for wear the next morning. Big relief.
Finally, last night was your first overnight with your grandparents. Dad and I had plans to meet some old friends of mine who were in town, and while I would have loved for you to be there, it was nice to have some adult time. And G&G hadn't seen you in a couple weeks, why not. We dropped you off in the late morning, all of us lunching together, and then Dad and I made our exit. Grampie asked me if I thought you'd be upset realizing we weren't going to be there. I had no idea! I hoped not.
Dad and I thought about you the whole time. We called twice to check in, and hearing your chatter and laughter in the background, knew you were fine and having a blast. You needed this. And so did g&g. And well, so did we. But again, now not only was I not going to be the one to put you to bed, but I also wasn't going to be there when you woke up. That has never ever happened. Once again, I underestimated you, and you did just fine. You looked so happy when I picked you up today. You're our sweet little boy who was so good for your grandparents. Something else I hope you'll always be, and appreciate this extra special time you have with them. They love you so much.
We did miss you though. It was too quiet this morning after Dad went to work and I wandered around, picking up some stray toys and doing your laundry. I couldn't wait to hear you say the familiar "Hi, Mom!" when I found you watching, what else, Pooh, with Grampie.
Partying at the grandparents left you exhausted. Not only did you nap the entire ride home, but also for another two hours beyond that.
Another first I suppose, was going to the Topsham Fair this afternoon. Blah. While it was fun to see the animals and watch you climb on the tractors, you were allegedly too small for the rides (though we begged to differ after seeing some of the rides) and there was nothing going on. Maybe because it was the last day of the Fair that we left totally unimpressed and not anxious to go back.
As I write this, you're off in dreamland again, and I'm looking forward to spending this entire week with you since we're both on vacation. Maybe we'll discover a few more 'firsts'.