I worked for the fifteen months of Evie's life. Well, technically, I took the first three months off. Then I worked full-time for five months. Then I worked part-time for five months. Then I worked full-time again for a few months. Then I quit.
During all of this working, Evie was in daycare. Now, I don't think daycare is a terrible thing. She was in a great center, and Emma took fabulous care of her when I couldn't. Evie had lots of love and attention wherever she was. I just didn't have enough time with her.
I tell you all of this so you know Evie and I have not always been inseparable. She used to go off to play at "school" each day, and I went off to work. But then I stayed home.
Since I've been home full-time, Evie has not let me out of her sight. She doesn't want me to go inside to get another popsicle, she doesn't want me to leave her with Daddy for a few minutes, she doesn't want me to go get a haircut. I can't even pee by myself.
I volunteered for VBS this summer, and dropping her off at childcare was a nightmare. She cried so much and so hard. One day, I was able to see her on the playground. She was still crying 45 minutes after I left her. So much for the old "She stops crying as soon as you leave." Another volunteer told me "All the kids get upset when their parents leave, but I've never seen a child as upset as your daughter." Gee, thanks. That makes it so much easier.
So today was a surprise to me.
Evie woke up from her nap, and said "GaGa. Go! Go!" I called my mother and said Evie wanted to see her. Great timing, since the kids were asleep. Evie could have GaGa all to herself! The plan was to visit for an hour or so, when GaGa had to leave to take Maryann to the bus stop. Evie and I would leave at the same time for a little grocery shopping.
We got there and had snacks and played with GaGa. Evie even rode a tricycle for the first time, with her grandma's help. Then we helped wake the kids up and load them in the minivan. Evie hopped right in, too. I explained to her that GaGa and the kids were leaving, and Evie and Mommy had to go to the grocery store. She didn't budge. I told her I wasn't going in the minivan, I was going in my car. GaGa said she would take Evie with her to drop Maryann off and then for ice cream, and bring her home afterwards. Fat chance, I thought. I asked Evie "Do you want to go in the minivan with GaGa, or with Mommy in her car?"
She shouted "GaGa!"
So I got her carseat out of my car, and transfered it to the minivan. I thought Evie would change her mind any second, but she didn't. I buckled her in, and she was fine. Now what? I guess I had to leave. I gave her a kiss and told her "Bye, bye." Not a whine or a cry was to be heard. I got in my car and drove away.
Now, here's the weird thing. I was happy she was with my mom. I felt a little free, and imagined my grocery shopping would be a hundred times easier. But I was also holding back a few tears. My mom has watched her for us many times, but always at our house. Evie has never actually left me to go WITH her.
My shopping was quick, as expected. It hadn't even been half an hour, but I called to check up on Evie. My mom said she cried for a minute when Maryann got in the car and Evie realized it wasn't me. But now she was fine. They were at the bank, and then they were getting ice cream. I was glad she was okay, but I was also glad she missed me.
Half an hour later, Evie was home. She kissed GaGa and said goodbye to the kids. And then I had her all to myself again.
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