The second cutting of the umbilical cord

The past two weeks have been pretty big around here.  It seems once Kendall’s mind and body mastered the art of walking it freed up a hell of a lot of brain space to learn things like words and body parts, and he even started spitting back some of those freaking baby signs I’ve been persistent in showing him over the last six months.  Granted, they aren’t the signs that would actually make life easier like “eat”, “more”, “sleep”, or “I’m about to poop on the floor”, but he can make a sign for just about every animal in his touch and feel book.

All this growing and learning is a tad bittersweet, but I have to admit that I wasn’t one of those moms who cried after her baby turned one. Yes, I was a little sad, but this age kicks ass!  He is ten million times more fun than he was a year ago, and I am ten million times better rested.  We’ve spent every day for the last… well, since conception really, together.  The longest we have been apart was for no more than 8 hours, and that was pretty recently.  I’m sure you can imagine how anxious I was over leaving him for an entire weekend with his dad for the very first time.

I took off to float down the Comal in New Braunfels a couple weekends ago for the infamous bachelorette party, the one that officially put an end date for breastfeeding on my calendar.  Luckily, Kendall had long since been weaned and managed to master the sippy cup, so I didn’t have to worry about how my husband would have to produce milk and/or a breast for him.  And, I have to admit, even though there were moments when I would think about him and get a little sad, it wasn’t that awful.  Does that make me awful? I mean,  I think I was more sad about missing my old perky, firm, full boobs that once filled out bathing suits so nicely a little more than him.  It’s not that I DIDN’T miss him.  I did, but I knew he was in safe hands, I got a nightly recap of his day, and I knew I would see him again soon.  I can not say the same, however, for my old boobs.  R.I.P old boobs.

Today we went even a step farther.  Today Kendall started a Mother’s Day Out program where he will attend a preschool/daycare kinda thingy at a local church every Tuesday for 5 hours. This is so I may have 5 hours a week to clean, write, run without a stroller, stare into the refrigerator uninterrupted and do dishes without any regard for where or when the steak knives go in.  Of course, I was a little nervous last night, but he has handled everything so well lately that I really wasn’t concerned.  I was a little sneaky in leaving him, only because I didn’t want to make a big deal about it and get him upset, so I don’t think he even knew I left.  The whole afternoon was nothing but productive.  It. was. beautiful.

I arrived promptly to pick him up, pretty sure he would be wiped out and ready to nap, but not at all expecting the welcome I received. As I poked my head around the corner, there was my big guy, rocking on the lap of his teacher.  The minute his eyes locked with mine he busted out the biggest SAD FACE ever, began crying big tears and ran toward me. I scooped him up and he looked at me as if to say, “What the hell? You freaking FORGOT me! I am SO mad at you! I am mad at you and I am tired because YOU forgot to take me home to my crib so I could take a nap.  I have been looking for you all day.” And then he continued to cry until we left the building where he saw something that must have resembled a duck, made the sign for duck over and over, then passed out in his carseat only seconds into the drive home.

That pretty much was the saddest thing I have ever seen.  This mom didn’t cry when her baby turned one, or when she left him for the weekend, but she sure did driving home from his first day of “school”.

Kendall is 13 and a half months old and I owe him, big time