Early this morning, I returned from a writing conference in San Jose. I was gone for four days--the longest I have ever been away from Arlo...not to mention the longest I have been separated from Ted since we were long-distance dating in college.
Arlo did remarkably well, keeping his cheerful disposition in spite of what must have been excruciating sadness on account of my absence. Okay, well, maybe not excruciating. It was a relief to hear that he was his usual happy self, the only anomaly being that his day was punctuated with the question "Where's Mommy?"
But I think he missed me.
Ted went out tonight to play pool with his league team, and I had the happy duty of giving Arlo his bath and putting him to bed. I wasn't surprised to discover that he didn't really want to go to bed--I expected that he'd resist, since he might not want to separate from me again. Plus, now that we're keeping the rail down on his crib (as a transition to the Big Boy Bed step, which is imminent), he can get out of bed with relative ease.
As expected, he climbed out after our first goodnight, and because I had also missed him desparately, I completely folded and let him sit on my lap for a while watching Dancing with the Stars on TV. After about 15 minutes, I whispered to him it was time for him to go back to bed and he whispered back, "okay." That didn't last.
I had to reach into the SuperNanny bag of tricks, sitting in his dark room, next to his crib, and putting him back to bed every time he climbed out (which was twice more). I listened to him breathing and sucking on his fingers, and worried every time that he flopped over in his crib that he was going to shimmy out of it again. Eventually, the tossing and turning subsided and I crept out, cursing the squeaky door as I exited.
I spent about half an hour downstairs at the computer, then went back up to get to work unpacking my suitcase. After taking care to close Arlo's door, I flipped on the lights in our bedroom and went into the adjoining bath. I used the toilet and washed my hands, and started putting away my shampoo and hair gel and toothpaste and stuff from the trip.
I figured I'd better start a load of laundry, so I hoisted the suitcase from the floor, planning to sort the clean and dirty clothes on the bed. There, in the broad light of the ceiling fan fixture, Arlo slept peacefully in the middle of our bed, his head burrowed into my pillow.
So I guess maybe I'll just unpack tomorrow night.