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Happy 2 month birthday, Violet June 30, 2010

Posted by Erin F. Wasinger in Letters to Violet.
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Dear Violet,

Forgive me for being a few days late on your two-month post. Well, actually, don’t forgive me. My tardiness is a proliferation of one major and a few minor events. The major should be obvious: My return to work; the minor are all a direct result of that big step back into my office.

What was supposed to be a June and July filled with half days of work and afternoons spent smelling your baby-scented head (and folding clothes and washing bottles and writing and working out) has instead turned into one big guilt-laden mad rush. I’m not working four hours; I’m working from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., four days a week. Four whole days. I’m doing so because there’s work to do, and I have a hard time walking away from that. A major reason I do it is because, simply, we need the money.

But I also do it because when I was at home with you, smelling your baby-scented head, I felt as if I weren’t doing enough, or as if I were dragging my feet about the inevitable.

This, as any casual reader or mother on the face of this planet can probably see, is a recipe for evenings filled with rushing: Rushing to wash bottles, rushing to bathe you girls, rushing to feed you both, to play (quick!), rushing to get you to nap (guilt!) so I can throw in that load of towels that’s obstructed our path to the shower, rush to pick up dirty diapers left laying on the floor by your changing table 12 hours ago (gross!), to turn on night-lights, to put away leftovers and do dishes and pack my lunch for work and your diaper bag for the sitter’s so we can go to bed and wake up and do it ALL OVER AGAIN.

MARRY RICH, VIOLET.

The whole charade of a working mom having it all (insert fake smile and two thumbs up here) is — pardon my language, baby — shit. It really is. I, the writer, have tried for like 35 seconds to think of another word, but no other noun quite escapes through my teeth with as much intensity as “shit” does. (Sorry, Mom.)

I just want it to be a choice. It’s not a choice. “What’s your deal?” your dad will ask when I’m rushing through dinner to wash my plate. My deal? THAT is my deal. It’s a decision masquerading as a choice. It’s not a choice.

MARRY RICH. OR INVENT SOMETHING REALLY COOL, VIOLET.

You’re getting so big, and you’re my baby: My last baby (if, God forbid, I get pregnant and your younger sibling is reading this, I am going to feel a little bad about the relief I felt as I just re-read that part). You’re my happy, happy baby. You make me understand why people have babies: You smile. You silently laugh, your little mouth opens wide and little gasps escape and your head leans forward toward your toes. You love baths and being naked, love your Mama and love when I dangle my hair over your face to tickle you. You love your sister — as soon as she walks in the room or speaks, your blue eyes fix on her and you smile.

Someday you’ll wear her jeans without permission and she’ll punch your arm. I know this. But for now, this is the kind of stuff that makes the long work day almost unbearable by about 4 p.m. With Infant Alice, I dropped my mama status at the office door. The way I perch you on my hip (and the extra mama belly) doesn’t let me forget what I’m giving up by being at work.

It should also be so written that you sleep about six or seven hours a night. That has a lot to do with my liking you so much. I’d say “JK” but that’d be a lie.

Love,

Mama

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