Tuesday, May 10, 2005

long and chatty

On Saturday, April 24 -- three weeks ago, give or take -- I ran away from home. I drove to the same hotel that hosted Jacqui's "welcome to earth" party last year, and I spent about 24 hours with them. It was my first whole night away from the baby. We all survived.

On Friday, April 30, I spent my second night away from her, but this one was unintentional. I accepted an invitation to a party in Maryland; rain and uneven sidewalks conspired against me as I tried to leave. I sprained my ankle and then spent the night, but still -- everyone survived. And that Friday afternoon was the last time Jacqui has nursed.

We'd been slowing down on that, trying to avoid afternoon and evening sessions, and after my hotel stay we were down to once or twice per day, before bed and in the early morning. After my second Saturday away, it was much easier to distract Jacqui from it -- she was very happy just to be in my arms and drink milk from a cup. So, given that it's been nearly two weeks now, I think it's safe to say that at thirteen and a half months old, Jacqui is weaned.

On May 6, Jacqui played with crayons. I wasn't convinced this was a good idea; I was pretty sure she'd eat them. We were with my mom at the Macaroni Grill; the table was covered with butcher paper. Jacqui never even considered eating the crayons, but she did spend less time actually coloring than she spent directing me and her grandma in OUR scribbling efforts.

On Saturday, May 8, some friends joined us at our house for dinner, and they brought with them their 16-month old son, Noah. And for the first time, Jacqui PLAYED with another baby! They took turns pushing each other on that toy, and she spent a lot of time just following him around. He accidentally knocked her over a couple of times, but neither of them got upset about it and he hugged her and patted her with little baby-pats on the back while she looked at him in bewilderment. A great time was had by all.

We spent Sunday (mothers' day) in Annapolis visiting with a friend of mine who delivered her baby that morning, and then we spent the balance of the beautiful day playing with my mom.

Then, yesterday Jacqui spent two hours with her grandma -- by themselves, at my mom's house -- while I was visiting my friend in the maternity ward. This is the second time Jacqui's ever been away from both me AND Geoff; the first time didn't go at all well, back when she was 6 or 7 months old. That time was with a close local friend, and there was much screaming and gnashing of baby gums. This time, a baby and a grandma went for a walk and then played with toys and crayons on the living room floor. Jacqui didn't even look for me once. When I did show up, she gave me the "There you are!" grin -- NOT the "OhMyGodWhereHaveYouBeen?!" scream. And there was much rejoicing.

(This means maybe sometime in June Geoff and I could go see a movie.)