Momming is, as everyone tells you, a full-time job. Besides going to work, I could probably list from memory how many times I have been out without Violet since she was born almost 7 (!) months ago. Shawn and I have had 2 dates and gone to 2 weddings, I've been out with Jen once, I met a friend after work for drinks about a month ago, and there was one time when I met my co-workers for beers. So when I left Vi with Shawn to go to a holiday dinner for work on Friday, I was a bit disappointed when he called me at 9 o'clock to tell me the little lady hadn't stopped crying since I left home.
The dinner was close by so I got home less than 10 minutes after he called. Violet had 3 vaccines on Friday afternoon and I think the residual effects of those were probably to blame for her unusual fussiness. Whatever the reason, she continues to be a Momma's Girl and her tears disappeared when I walked in to the room. Shawn handed her off to me and, as soon as he did, she turned back to him and grinned from ear to ear, just as an extra slap in the face in case he wasn't sure who her favorite is right now.
This is the thing about Violet's babyhood (and every other mother's baby, as well): It's all or nothing. I can't spread her infancy out; it is finite and fleeting. In 10 years, when she is so over being held, there will be no way for me to recapture that. When she is 17 and wants to spend more time without me than with me, I'm sure there will be no convincing her that snuggling on the sofa is a great way to spend a Saturday night. As much as I'll wish for the feeling of her otherworldly soft skin under my fingers when I am an old, wrinkled, woman, I'll have to settle for the memory of these days she and I are spending together now.
Keeping that in mind, it is easy to turn down an invitation for drinks or rush home from a dinner party or put the vacuuming off for days. Baby Violet will not be Baby Violet for much longer. While I sometimes wish I could put her on hold to do my stuff, that is not an option. So I submerge myself in her babyhood, coming up for air only occasionally, and not worrying too much about what else I might be missing.
This is a poem my Mom recited for me when Vi was just a week or two old. I don't know who wrote it, but it is a wonderful sentiment.
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow,
Cause babies grow up, I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.