A recipe for disaster?

Katie will be two July 25th, and I’ve spent a total of two nights away from her. Those two nights were so spread out, and the first was just last November. This is all about to change.

Back in the spring- you know, when it was still a wonderful 60-70 degrees here in Texas and Oklahoma- Katie and I went up to OKC/Norman pretty much every week so I could work. We spend two nights at my Mom’s, I’d drive her down to Eric’s parents’ in East Norman during the day, and then the last day we’d head home. Between getting ready in the morning, the drive time to and from Norman and all that, I didn’t have much time left during the day to actually buckle down and work. Not to mention, parking was an issue- I needed to be near a library. But that meant paying out the wazoo for parking. And if I was near the library, I wouldn’t have access to the internet…or a printer. So I’d spend my day shuttling back and forth from Starbucks or Borders on opposite sides of Norman, but where I have internet access, and the library to pick up books from Lynne Levy, who generously checked them out for me.

This was just not the best arrangement. And I hate being away from Eric, my own bed, and my home. I got my fellowship, we put Katie in day care so I could work (I’ve gotten three chapters drafted and sent to my advisor since mid-April), and I devised a new strategy for my trips home. I should say, I have to go home for my research because part of my proposal, which my advisor would not agree to cut from my project despite many complications (such as a shortened timeline due to the pregnancy), is participant-observation at an organization that works with or advocates on behalf of immigrants.

It seems my participant-observation might be falling in place; the folks at immigrant services at Catholic Charities might agree to let me volunteer and participantly observe…or whatever the verb is. Anyways, this means Katie will be staying home in Dallas while I’m gone two nights each week…

Understand that Eric has never- NEVER had an overnighter completely by himself with Katie. He’s always been at his parents’ house the two nights I wasn’t there. And he’s NEVER gotten Katie and himself ready alone in the morning. I have always been the one alone with her in the morning. I, on the other hand, stop counting the number of nights Eric has spent away. Basically, I have at least a month’s time off stored up.

What this means is, Katie and I are used to starting our days together. From the very beginning, I’ve either nursed her, fed her, or been the one to snuggle with her while she drinks her morning cup of milk before breakfast. It’s been me she’s peered over the baby gate at while I get dressed before we left for school. And conversely, she and I snuggle as soon as she gets home; in Iowa, I was usually the one taking her to day care and picking her up.

The past two nights have been unsually chaotic around here (no vomit tonight, but lots and lots of high drama). One thing both nights had in common was- well, here’s an example: after the bath, that she didn’t want, tonight, she wouldn’t let me put her down. She sat in my lap, naked, damp and diaperless, until I cheered her up enough by cradling her in the crook of my knee to put on her diaper. And then, when I went to move into the couch since getting up from the floor isn’t so easy anymore, she seemed fine at first. In fact, she seemd like she wanted to sit in her own chair. The very instant she figured out I was sitting by myself in the armchair and not in the couch, she FLIPPED OUT. Mommy moved over accordingly and we snuggled. And so the evening continued.

To be fair, she’s come home grumpy from day care the past two days, too. But man, I think Eric may have his hands full. I’m only staying in OKC overnight; once my fieldwork is established, it’ll be two nights, no more than three, through the end of September (I hope…no blood pressure issues or travel restrictions from the OB, please).

But, just in case you hear that shrill, hyperventilating scream emanating from Dallas anywhere between 5 and 8 pm tomorrow night, you just might know whose house it’s coming from.

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