Yes, this is the same man I live with. This is the man I’ve been married to for close to 10 years. This is the man I’ve known since 1997. So why would I write a post about just 12 hours with him? Because they were 12 hours of just him and me, and nobody. In the last 21 months, that’s a first!
So it was a day trip to Delhi — we’d taken a flight on Sunday morning from Lucknow, and were back that evening. We went without the little one. The last time I had to go to Delhi for some office work in March, I had insisted that Arjun come with me. And had tagged The Guy along to babysit him while I was at work for a couple of hours. The Guy tried to tell me I could make a round-trip on the same day, since the Lucknow-Delhi flight is just 50-minutes long. But I was petrified that I might not be able to come back in time to be with my baby before he goes to sleep (I always put him to sleep, how will he sleep without me?). What if my flight back from Delhi gets cancelled, I had argued like only a mother in distress can. My family had given in, smiled through the unreasonableness of my argument, and played along. But this time, I gave in. This was also a work related trip, except that this work involved both of us — The Guy and me. So, no one would be there to babysit him, and everyone knows that getting work done with a restless toddler isn’t the easiest thing in the world. I had butterflies in my stomach about leaving him behind, but what must be done, must be done. Also, in the last four months, we’ve grown up just enough as mommy and son to know that we can stay without each other for 12 hours. So, I planned his day so that he would be at Nani’s place for half the time that I was away, and back home for the other half.
I woke up my son before leaving, said goodbye to him, and took off.
It was like being on a date. We talked, we joked, we teased each other, and laughed. We ate together. I don’t think he has any idea how much it meant to me.
I realised some time on the trip that I had been missing this, that between answering the urgent, persistent calls for “Mamma!” and the tugging at my hair for attention, and the sealing of my lips with his as I open them to say something to someone else (yes, my I’m-in-love-with-mommy son does this), The Guy and I have lost the space for conversations. Usually, we don’t even realise we miss it, we’re so immersed in parenthood.
But you can go out for date nights. We do, but it’s just not the same, we don’t perhaps call them date nights, they’re just dinners out. But they’re always hurried, we both tend to rush through our meals, and have so much else on our minds, we cannot relax enough.
But you can talk after your son’s slept. Yes, we can. Except that the whole task of making a toddler unwind and go to sleep is so laborious, I end up asleep by the end of it myself. There’s no time to talk.
And for those reasons, I found this half-day reprieve from everyone was a God-sent. Even in London, we were with family, never alone. And needless to say, it’s not the same. As much as I love to be with my bachcha, I wish they were more days like this.