I stepped into the Magic Time Machine without a diaper bag. A woman dressed as Disney’s Jasmine handed me a menu. Teal harem paints framed a tonned porcelain tummy. She must not have kids, I thought. Marks formed over two pregnancies now wind around my belly like a mountainside eroded by rain. My middrift wasn’t the only thing forced to stretch. I’m a nursing, baby-food making, toilet-training, mom of two. Yep, it’s a whole new world. And I’m tired. That’s why agreed to a mom’s night out. Freedom might feel like a magic carpet ride.
I looked over the entrees, skipping the kid section. How will I eat without a baby in my lap? I’ve held my daughter for six-months now. She’s an 18 pound delight. Sometimes after I strap her into the baby Bjorn, my 33 pound toddler wants me to hold him too. “Mommy attention!” How can I say no? He jumps on, straddling my hip, as I haul 50 or so extra pounds. Motherhood. Sitting alone in the waiting area I started wondering how they were doing. Did Brandon brush his teeth? Did Addy fall asleep?
Soon Buddy the Elf took us on a tour of the resturant. At the table, I confessed to the other moms I might cry. I missed my baby (both of my babies really). “The baby stage is so short” I lamented. I remember feeling like the baby stage would never end with my son. The fatigue felt unending. Then one day he started picking out his own clothes and telling me he didn’t like my choice of music in the car. Brandon blows kisses my way and says “okay, bye” when I leave.
I won’t let the fatigue fool me the second time around. The baby stage will end and very soon. Addison no longer wants to be wrapped tightly against my body at all times. She’s enjoying her adventures on the ground. She rolls and moves. She’s ready to take off. I feel it. My daughter is changing so fast I can almost measure her growth in moments. (Moments I quit my job, rearranged my body and whole life to experience.)
The other moms and I chatted about our families over appetizers, laughed at the ridiculous personas of the wait staff and enjoyed the tranquility of dining without children. I relaxed. I almost felt like a woman and not a mom. The food arrived and then the checks. Buddy the Elf serenaded us. Then I noticed six missed calls from my husband. “Six missed calls! I gotta go.” I said bye as I pressed the call button on my cell. I could hear the cries. My baby missed me.
I made it home in fourteen minutes. My husband said Addy tired herself out and fell asleep before I burst through the door. Red blotches left a rim around her face. I whispered “I’m so sorry.” My husband assured me she was fine. He changed her, fed her and bounced her. She just wanted her mom. I am so privileged to be her mom.
I can visit the Magic Time Machine anytime I want a shrimp scampi. I can’t kick time off its tracks. Sometimes I want to take a bullet train to an age where these tiny people can make their own eggs. I can’t do that either. I agreed to a mom’s night out before I was truly ready. Before my baby was ready.
I will happily jump off of the train for another mom’s night out down the line probably at the next milestone when Addy’s favorite word is “no” and I fully understand the whole backpack leash thing. Until then, I’m snuggling. I’m savoring. I’m staying in.