We had our first night out, just the two of us, sans baby since, well, the baby came. Yes, we went to a lacrosse game when Brooklynn (with Rhiannon’s siblings), and yes, we did go play a volleyball game a few weeks back. However, it has never been just us on a night out on the town. Until Saturday.
We dropped our daughter off with Rhiannon’s aunts and fled calmly headed downtown for dinner and a show. The musical Wicked is in town right now, and we bought tickets for it way before we had any idea of what caring for a baby actually required.
I think it was in April, and I emailed Rhiannon just to make sure she wanted to see it and check if the weekend of her birthday sounded like a good plan to her. I received a confirmation of yes, get the tickets, and we’ll just need to find a baby sitter for that night.
A few weeks ago I mentioned how old cars come with instructions when you let someone else drive them. Old cars seem rather insignificant when compared to leaving your baby somewhere new.
Sure, we leave her at daycare during the weekdays, but that is routine by now – something we don’t really think about being out of the ordinary. Honestly, on days when I am home alone with Brooklynn, I find myself wondering what Jamie does with her during the day because suddenly, I am the not part of the daytime routine person.
We left Brooklynn with some directions on the order of “She likes to have her butt rotated clockwise four time and shaken up and down twice and half while she stands naked in front of your bathroom mirror. She may try to pee on the counter, but that’s ok. And she’s probably accepting of having water dumped on her face, because we seems to do it at least a couple times every night.”
As we headed downtown, I looked back to check on her once, thinking that she must be asleep after 15 miles on the road, only to remember that we were driving far away from our home without our baby. And we were happy about it.
Let me point out that leaving your children today is much different than it was when I was growing up. We didn’t leave a list of places we were going to be. We didn’t leave contact numbers and the exact time we thought we would be home. Everybody has everyone else’s cell phone numbers, so no one is ever really unavailable. That and the fact we left Brooklynn with someone who had watched Rhiannon when she was a kid vs. a local high schooler. It does wonders for peace of mind.
Everything went wonderfully. We had a nice dinner, went to the musical, picked up our baby and went home. She stayed asleep while we got her into her crib and went to bed ourselves. A perfect night, aside from the fact that we were a little late in getting to bed and figured that Brooklynn would be up well before we would wake up on our own.
A little after 7 am on Sunday, I woke up was surprised to find Brooklynn hadn’t cried yet. So I checked the monitor just to make sure it was working. The monitor next to our bed that we don’t turn off, ever. The monitor that is plugged in so we don’t check batteries. The monitor that we turned off on Saturday morning so Rhiannon could sleep in while I got up with Brooklynn, because a birthday weekend deserves a little sleeping in.
The monitor was off.
Ok, maybe Brooklynn was still sleeping, right? I turned it on – no red flashing lights. I turned it up until I could hear the hum of the humidifier - no crying. Phew.
And then a wail.
That's the fastest I have ever made it from our room into hers.
She didn't have tears running down her face, but she had been awake long enough to work her hands out of her swaddle blanket. Rhiannon was right behind me and we had a bottle made up for her as fast as we could.
And as guilty as I felt, at least we didn't sleep until 10. Amazing how a few months of never sleeping past 8 kind of conditions you to wake up early. Brooklynn even had a smile for us - either she wasn't too distraught to begin with, she had a short memory, or she was just happy someone finally came to pick her up.
I can't wait until someday when she's old enough to find this post and I hear that she should get to stay out later or something along those lines because remember that morning that we forgot to listen for her? Yeah, I'm guessing I won't feel all that guilty about it any more by then.