For my birthday this year, my mom and my mother-in-law signed me up for a running class for women, which meets twice a week. Ian's contribution to the gift was his agreement to watch both children alone while I go and take the class. Last night was our trial run (no pun intended), as I went for the class orientation and Ian prepared for single fatherhood. I was worried about Maggie, who is a bit of a Mama's girl (no one has encouraged this by holding her constantly, so I don't know what you're rolling your eyes at) and who is currently teething and a bit crabby. It was Max, however, who sucker-punched me with guilt. When I told him that I was leaving for a little while, he made a high-pitched whining noise, asked to be picked up, and then said goodbye to Ian and Maggie, as if he were going with me. He cried and tried to follow me out the door. I made my tearful way to the class, chanting through clenched teeth the whole way, "You are not a bad mom. He will be fine. He's probably already fine." And, of course, he was fine. When I got back, Ian reported that Max's tears lasted 3.2 seconds, and then Ian put a video on and Max basked in the movie-watching until I returned. Maggie did fine, too, chewing on her thumb thoughtfully until she spotted me again, at which point she yelled angrily at me until I nursed her into appeasement. The class seems like it will be great. There are lots of women in the class, and there is a wide range of ages and levels of athleticism, easing my fear that I will be the slowest and clumsiest runner in the group.
What do these pictures have to do with this narrative? Nothing, except that I am hoping that their cuteness offers up some sort of excuse for why I am such a wimp about leaving my children.