Confession...we had our first baby birthday party for a friend's gorgeous girl's first birthday. I was so excited to see the other babies, especially another little man who was born just a month after Cade. So cute to compare! (And yes, I was doing completely respectable comparing, none of that psycho-momma comparing to see whose baby is more advanced at what! So proud!) Um, so where does my confession come in? I'm getting to that...
Cade was rocking his helmet as usual, people were politely curious and concerned. Again, I'm a very happy mama when people mind their manners. Everyone was pretty amazed at how "smiley" Cade was/is. It amazes Nick and I when people ask, "Is he always so happy?" "No really, does he actually smile that much, even at home?" Uh, what do you want us to say, people? The truth is, yep, he's a happy kid. Obviously he's teething and it gets painful at times and he cries. Obviously he has his growth spurts where for whatever reason he gets cranky. He's a baby. That's normal shit. You get over it and move on. Frankly, it's a good excuse to take a mommy nap/glass of wine/large pizza/gorge-fest-on-half-bag-of-Oreos/cranky bitch day too.
Anyways, so this one friendly lady was particularly sweet with the compliments so I let her hold him. The other sweet ladies I granted Hold Time respected the unspoken rules of Hold Time. You're not familiar? Allow me to educate you.
Hold Time Rules:
1. Pay Mama Bear a compliment about her baby.
2. Ask to hold.
3. BEFORE grabbing baby, verbally affirm that your hands have been washed/sanitized.
4. Gently reach for baby and hold him firmly. Even if you drop the baby I will forever feel guilt and horror at having deemed you Hold-worthy. Blame will be all on me, not you. So respect my hesitation before I let go of my infant.
5. Hold Time has Tiers. Tier One = 1-2 minutes (aquantainces and coworkers) Tier Two = friends (2-5 minutes) Tier Three = great friends/fellow mommy making baby Hold Time trade (5-15 minutes), Tier Four = family members only (15 minutes-40 minutes). If you are in fact a Tier One aquaintance, you may be granted a Tier Two pass if you casually drop a valid reason. Like, your grandchild lives more than 3 hours away, okay, you can hold my baby. You're going through a personal trauma and holding my baby will help heal you, automatic pass to Tier Four. I respect Baby Hold Time Therapy.
6. In return for my respect of you, and my granting you access to Hold Time, I expect you to respect me. I am a working mom of one child. My personal Hold Time allotments are shorter than a SAHM (stay at home mom) or a mom of more than one child. I get it, I know you've had 2+ kids you're a little "over it". I'm not anywhere near being "over it". I've regressed in my selfish baby-sharing ways since going back to work. I confess.
I also confess that after 2 minutes of Tier One Hold Time, I was starting to get a little possessive of Cade. I was HOVERING. Standing less than 6 inches from this woman and keeping one hand on Cade for most of the time. (Looking back at the mental picture of myself, yes, I'm ashamed) But I can't help ittttt! It was Sunday night, all I was thinking of was that I had to leave my baby at daycare for the following 5 days. Nearing the five minute mark I started to panic.
I started secretely wishing upon Cade all sorts of minor upsets. Toothache, wet leaky diaper, tired fuss time, hungry little whimpers...anything to signal to this woman that she was totally violating my rules. I just miss him so much when I'm at work, it kills me. The fact that the way cute new mommy told me she was a SAHM and how it cut me to the core I was so jealous probably upped my psycho-possessiveness. Any way you slice it, I can come up with a million excuses, I was sooo jealous and sooo pissed. I finally managed to wrangle Cade away saying I better do a diaper check. Then I just walked him to the other side of the room, forgetting my lame excuse to cuddle my baby, and just held and rocked him and fell deep into our little world of Two.
Let this be a lesson. Respect Hold Time, and Mama Bear will respect you. Yes, I see my baby every day and get in hours of hold time, even when it's a workday. Will it ever be enough time? Even if I were a SAHM? There will never be enough time to hold and love my baby. In fact, I'm going to sign off, so I can steal him out of his crib and snuggle his Aveeno baby scented hair and velvety skin. Goodnight bloggies.