On the third day of our trip, Zoe woke up way before dawn. I tried to nurse her back to sleep, but she just jumped on my head for an hour or so and finally I gave in and got up. My mom got up, too - somehow, it seems, our struggles had not been quiet enough. I changed Zoe's diaper, which was an epic battle because she was not interested in lying down or cooperating. We went to the hotel lobby for breakfast, but she was too wound up to sit and eat so I spent 45 minutes chasing her up the little stairwell and replacing the conventioneers' signs that she kept rearranging. Once we gave up on breakfast we spent a significant amount of time opening and slamming the doors of the machines in the guest laundry. Since I had been hoping to get a run in that morning I finally proposed a trip to the playground. Zoe could wear herself out on the slides and I could run around the park. Win-win. It was only when we actually got out to the car, looking like we'd slept in our hair and bathed in oatmeal and bananas, that we realized that it was 7:45 AM. That's right, 7:45. As in, not even 8:00 yet. We strapped her into her car seat and laughed until we cried at the awfulness of that baby.
We ate at Panera every day. It was baby-friendly and we liked the food. Every day I ordered Zoe a different item from the kids menu, and every day she picked at her own food while she mooched from my plate. At one point she carefully selected a piece of lettuce from my salad. She put it in her mouth and then pulled it out onto the table. She picked it up and waved it about. (I ducked.) She sampled it again, and spit it out into her yogurt covered hand. She daintily sneezed on it and then dropped it back into my salad where it vanished completely. My mother and I collapsed with laughter. What can you do?
Traveling with her was frustrating, exhausting and logistically complicated. But she's on the road with Steve today, heading down to visit her Tennessee grandparents, and I cannot believe how much I miss her.
I've had a great run, practiced well, gotten my reed work done, finished unpacking, done laundry, made a pumpkin lasagna from a whole pumpkin, taught two lessons, and organized music for my upcoming recitals. I've written thank-you notes and paid bills. I have changed the beds and cleaned the catbox, walked the dog and brushed him and loaded the dishwasher. It's only 9:30 - as in, not even bedtime yet - and I can't quite believe how productive it is possible to be in a day with no baby.
I am glad for her to visit Steve's family, glad that we are able to be apart now that we're nursing so much less. I am looking forward to the next two days of UNBELIEVABLE AMOUNTS OF TIME! And I can't wait for her to come home to me.