Monday, April 28, 2008

Who's Your Mama?

The lil' dude and her mama the week mama went back to work!

The Dad and I went to a wedding Saturday, and had assigned seating at the reception. Brides these days, so ambitious.
Anyways, the Dad was being polite and initiated conversion with the one couple at our table we didn't know . . . "How do you know the bride and groom? Where do you live? How long have you been married? Do you have any kids?" and so on.
It reminded me of being a Freshman at a keg party, "WHERE ARE YOU FROM? WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR?" then we'd all bong beers and pee in 5-gallon buckets in the corner of the basement.

After dinner, we found ourselves sharing a cocktail table with the new couple as we poured free booze down our throats, grateful for a the lil dude's fairy godmother and her babysitting abilities on a Saturday night.

The Dad had his cell phone out, showing our NBF's (and everyone else on the guest list) pics of the babe. The couple talked about their beloved baby, their Golden Retriever, and making the leap from pet owners to baby makers and raisers. We told them we went down the same path, bought a dog, kept him alive, remembered to go home after HH's to let him pee, getting his shots on time, and hanging a Christmas stocking on the railing with ours. Then, we had a baby.

The wife asked me if I worked, I told her I do. Full-time? Yes, FT. Out of the home? Yes, in an office where they require me to wear pants actually, and not swear so much.

She leaned in, to whisper, "do you bring your lil' dude to daycare?"
I shouted YES over the Chicken Dance.
She leaned back. "How do you do it?" with a most serious look on her face.
"Well, in the mornings, the Dad bri-," she cut me off.
"NO, no, I mean, how can you let someone else raise your child?" she asked, with her chin propped on her fist, looking very intent as I motioned to someone, anyone, to bring me More Free Beer.

"Ummm, the daycare lady does not raise my kid. She wipes her butt, feeds her, covers her with blankets when she sleeps. She makes her smile and takes her picture and gives her Tylenol shooters when her wee thighs hurt from shots." I said, and added, "She takes care of our daughter while we both work. She does not raise her."

"But," the wife went on, "don't you worry the lil' dude will learn to love the daycare lady because of the mass quantity of time she spends with her? Doesn't that freak you out?"

Well, it is STARTING to, new lady sans-baby I just met. I wanted to tell her where I went to high school and what my major was, in an attempt to sway the conversation to easier things.

Wife looked at me, "you must really love your job then, to make the decision to leave your baby at daycare. Husband and I? We have decided to wait to procreate until I am ready to not work Ever Again so I can devote all my time and energy mothering. Should be perfect!"

Perfect? Has anyone ever said parenting is perfect? Did anyone ever even entertain that notion while slathering cocoa butter onto giant bellies and asking for help getting up from the couch? Perfect? No such thing.

I know the decision we are making to both maintain FT jobs works for us. Absolutely, it is hard to not to think of the lil' dude sitting in the daycare lady's lap at 1pm, getting tickled, or rocked to sleep. Maybe I should struggle with leaving the house in the mornings more than I do. Maybe I should be a panicky mess as I spend 8+ hours away from my first-born each day. Maybe I should demand to see the seating chart at the next wedding before I send in my RSVP.

This whole topic has confirmed one thing howevs, and that is someone, likely everyone, will have an opinion on everything. If you are lucky, lucky like I am! you'll be told of those someones' opinions and judgements all the time. What you feed your kid, bottle or boob, fruits or veggies, putting them to bed while asleep or awake, going back to work or staying home. Maybe I should do myself a favor and keep all my supreme baby and parenting knowledge to myself to spare someone else my sweet Saturday night conversion and all-day Sunday emotional hangover.

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