I had to take a business trip the other day to the west coast. As every mother knows, a trip of any sort can be seen in two ways, a vacation or a guilt trip! On the one hand, a trip can be a mini vacation from your motherly responsibilities. You get to vacate your child’s life and actually have…gasp…your own life. On my mini vacation the television can be all mine again sans the Mickey Mouse clubhouse. I can indulge in all of the reality tv I want without crying in the background. I can watch the Real Housewives without the pause of my DVR to wipe snot. I can even drink without the concerns of a fat head the next day knowing that I will not be awoken by my child at the crack of dawn. Basically, for a few glorious days, I can go back to being my old self-absorbed self without a care in the world. Okay, maybe my fantasies sound lack luster to you, but these days some sleep and a good reality show beat the Cayman Islands in a pinch. After all, what do I have to worry about? My husband is stuck with all of the responsibility every night and my nanny will hold down the fort each day.
The downside to my trip is the mommy guilt. I actually have to leave my child. Will she be okay without me? Yes. Will she forget me? No. You ask yourself crazy questions and allow your mind to wander to the absolute worst places. How about if my child got hurt? What would happen if there was an accident? It would take me 5 hours on a plane to get to her for God’s sake! I take my overactive imagination and get a hold of myself. I kiss my
family goodbye. I am off to work and bring home the bacon.
Once I am on the plane and reading Taylor Armstrong’s new book, I start to relax. I am now in my work world. My other world where I am
not a mother, I am a damn good sales woman who is about to close a deal with total finesse and acute persecution. I will wine and dine my
clients and enjoy my job and my short stent at independence while on another coast. I can be a mother in a few days when I get home I tell myself. Time flies.
Two days later I am flying back east. I do not check a bag. I carry on. I want to get home as fast as I can to see my baby before she goes to bed. Finally, I am at my front door and inside my house. There she is. My beautiful baby girl. Has she really grown an entire foot? Her face looks like she has matured. Is that mascara she is wearing? “Hey baby!” I shriek. My daughter looks over at me, she stops playing and smiles. I run up to her and pull her up into my arms. “I love you.” I sing to her. She allows me to love on her but within seconds she wants to get down and play….with Tonya! For the record, I love, love Tonya our gracious nanny. She is a dream come true. She is not only funny and caring. She is kind beyond words; She loves my daughter. We all love her. I am quietly counting my blessings until I hear my baby say, “Tona!” What??? Did she just say her name?
Sure she has said Da Da. Don’t all babies say Da Da first? I mean it is easy to say. Mommy is hard. Tonya should be inconceivable at this age. I fake a smile and tell her what a big girl she is. I die inside. Okay, I am being dramatic, but I do want to die. She is supposed to say Mommy first or at least it should be the next name after damn Da Da. I did carry her and give her life. After Tonya has said her goodbyes, and I insist on putting my baby to bed, we are a lying on the bed facing one another. I am saying Ma Ma over and over again as my baby sucks her two fingers and stares longingly into my eyes. I just know at any second she will say the words I am dying to hear. Minutes go by. “Ma Ma” I continue. Nothing, I just hear the slurping sound from her fingers in her mouth. Then, right as I am about to give up, she pops her fingers out. She blows a loud raspberry (like a fart with your mouth) in my face. She starts to giggle. I start to giggle. “Da Da!” she coos. At that moment everything is right in my world. My baby has my personality and her Daddy’s manners. Maybe just maybe, I can do both.