Bye Bye, Baby

The remnants of my morning project.

You know something major is happening in my life when I don’t sleep all night, and I break out my cookie cutters at the crack of dawn. Oh, and when I make sure my makeup is prom-perfect before I leave the house. Strange reactions to stress, I know, but I am out there. At least I admit it.

Did I go overboard?

Anyway, today I dropped Alex off at school for the first time–with stylin’ supplies and a heart-shaped PB&J sandwich. Well, it wasn’t just me alone–Scott knew better than to let me handle that Lifetime moment solo–but I did it. I cut the cord. And, this time, without the drugs and the euphoric high of giving birth to my BFF, it really hurt.

Alex ran into school this morning….yay!…so excited to play. I’ve taken him there several times, and he’s always had great experiences with me cheering him on. I almost expected him to say, “Bye!” with no fanfare because he’s so social, confident, and friendly–but I was quickly b*tchslapped back into reality. I explained to him that Daddy and I would be leaving, and I saw the message register on his face…that “a-ha!” moment I will never forget. He ran over to me yelling, “Mommy, Mommy!” and clung to my leg (something he never does). Hot tears sprang to my eyes. I tried to stop them, but there was no way. I would’ve had a better shot at clicking my heels together three times and losing twenty pounds.

I managed to remain Mommyesque so Alex would follow my lead, but lost it as soon as I was out of his sight. Dignity is overrated. The receptionist gave me a knowing smile–at least that’s what I think I saw through my mascara haze–and my husband walked me out, blubbering away, trying to quietly reassure me that Alex would be okay. I also ran into a group of Mommies (not literally, I wiped my eyes enough to see immediately in front of me) who had already been through the torment of leaving their babies for the first time, and they were amazingly supportive. But, again, it still hurt.

Give me four hours, and I can remove that lightening bolt of contention and free your girl up, Kanye. Give me a call.

After today, I am pretty sure I could solve the world’s peace problems in four hours–or, at the very least, get Kim and Kris to hammer out a divorce agreement so Kimye can get hitched. Four free hours seems like eternity for someone who hasn’t peed without an audience in a couple of years.

I was smart, if I do say so myself, and brought lots of stuff to keep myself busy after I left my son. I took dresses to the tailor for some Puerto Rican TLC, bags that needed to be returned to the mall, and exercised my credit card during a self-pity shopping spree. Even so, I suffered from empty car seat syndrome running from errand to errand, and I spent my last half-hour of freedom stalking Alex’s joint. I drove up and down side streets aimlessly, until I gave in and pulled into the school parking lot fifteen minutes early. A quick email and Facebook check ate up another seven minutes or so. But that was it…I had to go in.

My little man was at the door when I peeked in on him. He didn’t see me, but I saw him, and his sweet face. I waited for a moment so I could copy what the other Mommies did (I had no clue if we walked in to get them, or they came out), and, finally, got my baby. He yelled, “Mommy! Mommy!”, this time with a smile. I was so happy to hold him, and he hugged me tight. I felt like a celebrity walking to the car.

I asked Alex how school was and he answered, “Crying, crying” (I checked on him during his stint and his teacher said he carried on for a half-hour before he got distracted by having fun, and she posted 100 pictures today to prove it :)). Still, his answer tore at my heartstrings. We both cried today, and it hurts. Actually, knowing he cried for me and I wasn’t there stings.

How long does it take for kids to fully adjust to going to school? Alex is going for half-days–starting with two days per week–but will soon be there five days per week. How long will it hurt?

***In honor of my beloved boy, I made some Strawberry Shortcake (which would also make a nice 4th of July dessert). Have a wonderful holiday, everyone, and, please, give me a click! Just one click counts as a vote–it’s very easy, I promise. It won’t hurt at all!***
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My dinner...paired with Mommyjuice, of course.

Strawberry Shortcake

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1 pint fresh strawberries

Whipped cream (I always make my own–worth the extra step of whipping cream and Confectioner’s sugar together)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter the loaf pan; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar for 7 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute in between each addition. Beat in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir half of the flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in sour cream and then remaining flour mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely. Slice cake. Spoon strawberries over each slice (Mommy Dish tip you can sweeten the strawberries with a little sugar and let them sit for a little while at room temperature to create a little juice). Top with whipped cream.

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3 Responses to Bye Bye, Baby

  1. Michele says:

    Brings tears to my eyes to think of him crying and not knowing that you’d be back.. This is one of the hardest things you have to do as a parent.. letting go. Try leaving your child at college “on their own”.. that’s another tear jerker..They are all “growing pains” that are necessary in life for them to grow..for you to grow..However, letting go is never easy. I guess it gets a little easier when you see them go in smiling and waving to you because they “get it” that you are coming back and it’s ok to go and have some fun. It will happen but change is never easy.

  2. Kelly says:

    I feel your hyperventilating sista! I was the same way and there are times I still hate leaving him even though Brady’s been going since he was a year and a half. But I know he’s in the best place and he’s having fun/learning so that’s what brings comfort to me. He’s so popular and friendly and always being invited for playdates so I’m proud we’ve raised such a great boy! The pain of leaving them and watching them go on their own isn’t go away anytime soon but I promise it will get better…and there will be days that you actually look forward to it! ha! Embrace this change!

  3. Mel says:

    Mama, it’s true as the mommies above have stated so well. I’m still brought to tears on occasion dropping off my little man, and then I get all these pictures of the fun he’s having, how well he plays with other kids, his learning through the roof, and I’m so happy knowing that if I’m truly honest with myself, I know I could not provide him with what he’s getting now on a daily basis.

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