Monday, 27 February 2012

The agony of separation

G&T - 26-and-a-half months  M - 4-and-a-half-months

For the past four-and-a-half months or so, M and I have been pretty much inseparable. She has been looked after by Daddy or Granny for the odd hour or so, but otherwise, we're a unit. And that's the way I like it. I'm revelling in the fun of having just one, and the laidback nature of done-it-all-before parenting. I remember the first time I left the twins with anyone. They were ten months old, and I cried, each step away from them feeling like wretched abandonment. (They, of course, had a great time playing with Granny and Grandad, and failed to notice I was gone. But that's beside the point). Now, having moved closer to family, and being a more relaxed, second-time mum, I was determined to get M accustomed to time away from me much sooner. With Daddy and Grandad in charge, I knew the twins would have a ball, so, this week, I swallowed my fears about how the wee one would cope on a day of bottles, and headed out for a whole 12 hours to play at being the old me. OK, so last time I joined my mum and sisters on a theatre trip, I didn't have to pack a breastpump, but after a few wee sniffles on the way to the station, I really did start to feel like a normal person. Having enjoyed a nice gossipy train journey, all I needed to do was find somewhere for a quick express before the play. Cue a handy department store baby room nearby, everything was looking good. Until I tried to plug in my pump. With the wrong plug adaptor. Nope, no matter how I fiddled, plug and pump simply couldn't be made to agree. And with no manual option, I was stuck. I soldiered on, enjoying a little Shakespeare and even a cheeky spritzer (well, half a spritzer. Have become a truly spectacular lightweight) but by the time the players were taking their bows, I was giving Dolly Parton a run for her money. And I still had a three-hour train journey home. Oh, the pain. Suddenly, the final scene of Grapes of Wrath seemed like a blissful release. If only I could find a handy tramp... When I finally got home to my girls,  I couldn't wait to bond with M again. For my own sake as much as hers. As it turns out, without careful packing, the pain of separation can be very real indeed.