This morning was a big one for me and Annalise. It was the first time I dropped her off with a babysitter who wasn't her grandmother.
The first time I left Annalise with her grandmother, my mother-in-law, for a day was just after she turned one month old. And it was weird, definitely, but I wasn't sad. In fact, here's a good Mommy Confession - the very first time I was away from my daughter for more than a half hour, I was elated. I was a grown-up again, out of the house, driving! Dressing up for meetings! Talking about something other than breastmilk and diapers! I was happy to have her back in my arms that evening, but I didn't really mourn the hours "lost" either. Neither did Annalise, who stared wide-eyed at the new toys at Grandma's and was spoiled and cuddled to the content of both. And it stayed that way for over a year, until a lot of circumstances called for a change.
Today, when Annalise figured out Mum-mum was leaving her with a stranger, she cried, and I scurried out the door, cognizant of two things. One, if I stayed to comfort her, I would ultimately make it worse, because I would need to leave eventually. Two, that I had left my makeup bag at home, and my mascara was not going to last very much longer.
It was fine, of course, in the end. She had a great day with her new babysitter, who has her own daughter, and a tame, kid-loving cat. Lots of fun to be had, new things to explore, and a whole day in which to do it. And I was fine once I was on the road (more specifically, once I got a comforting text message from my husband reminding me that I was going to be just fine).
So there it is, another first in our book. Our day ended in a very regular way - Annalise wanted to be read to (tonight it was James and the Giant Peach, for about ten minutes, and then a variety from her growing Dr. Seuss collection), and she cuddled and hummed and played with my fingers as she dropped off to sleep.