Sometimes I feel like I’ve broken up with my oldest daughter. We used to be an inseparable pair – quite the couple. But now any time I have alone with her is usually spent bribing and begging her to be quiet lest she wake the napping baby. And when the baby is awake, I play referee while protecting them from each other and attempt to balance their needs with mine. On top of all of that, she’s three. So. Very. Three. It’s exhausting and intense, and I know that No1 feels that emanating from my moods.
So two Saturdays ago, we spontaneously packed a day bag for each kid and told No1 we were going to a special surprise. One of my clients was kind enough to give me some comp tickets to a local amusement park (have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?) so we left the baby with the grandparents and took No1 on a date. I needed to remember what it was like to just have fun with her…with no baby to interrupt us or divert our attention from her. She spent the whole ride insisting we tell her where we were going and making both ridiculous and reasonable guesses, which was honestly half the fun.
She was shy at first; weary of all the noise and new sights. But within 10 minutes, she shocked me by going on a ride all on her own! We spent 4 hours playing games, eating cotton candy (which took quite a bit of
convincing to get her to try at first), and taking her on rides. It was an amazing day. She held our hands and tugged us from ride to ride. She marveled at the carnival games and was thrilled by the two tiny prizes she won. And I remembered how much fun she is, how full of wonder and innocence.
It’s been hard feeling so connected to the baby after my PPD with No1 stole that bond from me. Sometimes I feel like I’m not being fair to either child – like there’s not enough of me to go around. But Saturday? We were enough for each other. And that’s enough for me.