Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back to work

In 12 hours, I will be sitting in my (unfortunately un-air-conditioned) office. Wearing grownup clothes that, please deity, will not have spitup on them. I will not be making up song after song to the tune of Frere Jacques, nor will I be watching snippets of daytime TV while Ess nurses. Instead, I'll be meeting with my boss to catch up on what happened over my leave, and talking about Ess, and reading my work email.

And pumping. And pumping. And pumping.

Ess will be 85 miles away, close to home with her beloved dad, who will be on his own adventure as he takes her to his weekly staff meeting in the morning. The two of them will spend about 12 hours together before I return home. All of the preparations have been made -- the milk is thawing in the fridge, some backup formula has been measured out, the diaper bag restocked. I've got the pump in its case, my laptop and other office stuff in the backpack, lunch all made in the fridge and some decaf ready to go in the coffeemaker. My clothes are ironed and set out.

So why do I feel so freakin' unprepared??

I have no idea what I am going to feel like tomorrow, other than guilty. I already feel guilty for having this job that, although it allows me to work part-time, and at home two days a week, also requires me to spend one day a week so very far away. I am not worried about D's ability to care for Ess all day long, just about the strain that spending 12 hours with sole responsibility for an infant can create. Especially when he'll also be babysitting my parents' wacky dogs for the day.

Yes, my parents arrived this afternoon. They decided to come up a couple days early because they were worried about my ability to drive all that way on the (small but increasing) amount of sleep I've been getting lately. So they're staying at my sister's house, and tomorrow morning they will arrive at 6:45 am to pick me up and drive me up the coast to my office. They'll hang out all day and do touristy stuff -- and, we hope, find ways to stay cool -- then return to the office to ferry me home at the end of the day. We'll pick up takeout on the way into town, then return to the dogs and D and sweet little Ess.

I'm already looking forward to that reunion. Cross your fingers that the day goes smoothly for all of us.