PARENTS

The Newborn Diaries: Missing The Baby

09/03/2011 18:05 | Updated 22 May 2015

I'm not sure if we were ready for nursery. And by we, I mean me, of course. Diana seemed to love it.

While I was thrilled at the prospect of having a few hours to myself, I hadn't prepared myself for how co-dependent I'd become on my little bundle, baby D.

She was fine without me (evidenced by beaming smiles the second we got to nursery and not so much as a glance behind her to see me off), while I suddenly felt completely unsure of what do to with myself and found it very strange to adjust to not having an infant attached to me in some way.

I suddenly had a full, free day ahead of me. What to do? Check out one of the many exhibitions I'm eager to see? Go shopping? Take a much-needed nap? Go for a swim? None of the above. I decided to stalk the nursery.

I found a yoga class nearby (which I had to flee in shame after only 45 minutes; not quite ready to exercise on my own yet either, apparently) and then called the nursery to let them know I was around the corner and could pick baby D up if necessary.

I could feel the eye-rolling on the other line as I was told that D had eaten and was happily playing. They would call me if she became inconsolable, but she hadn't shed a tear. Plus, it had only been 45 minutes. I was supposed to make it about seven more hours. What was I going to do?

In the end, I went home (Bolshy needed a walk). Once I started my work and errands, I was able to get stuff done. And how quickly! (I guess stopping to play with your baby every 10 minutes doesn't exactly encourage productivity).

I watched some TV and started to relax, finally reassuring myself that D was having a lovely time with new toys and new babies.

I even managed to get through the day (well, I picked her up at 4 pm, but it was her first time!). And I only called once more, after lunch, to check in. I swear.

When I came to collect the babe I'd spent all day missing, Diana definitely looked happy but sleepy. Apparently even the well-trained pros at the nursery couldn't get her to sleep in the cot for the life of them (maybe I'm not a complete failure as a parent, after all?) and she only took a couple of cat naps in various chairs around the room.

I was given a "report card" of what Diana did that day (it has comments like: "Diana explored toys with her mouth," and "Diana listened to stories during story time") and it records when (and what) baby D ate that day, how many wet and dirty nappies she had and how long she slept for.

It was completely cute, if slightly euphemistic (during my time with D, things like, "Spat up all over my face" and "Tried to gauge my eyeball out because she thinks it's a toy," figure more heavily), but I completely melted when I was handed D's first "painting" – neon green footprints of her feet.

So, nursery is kind of amazing.

And, exhausted from all her new friends, trying new foods (she had meat puree for the first time there) and becoming the next Picasso, baby D slept blissfully from the moment we got home.

Not in the crib. But still, she slept.

For more musings on new motherhood, follow me on Twitter @JenBNYC

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