Unlike toiling away in the rice fields in Laos, I was away from my infant for fun. Lao mothers are a part of the manual labor force in the family. Me? I left my baby and went to go drink and grind on my husband at a kid-free wedding. My original RSVP was “No” for exclusively breastfeeding and a “Hell No” as I’d have to find actual hygienic clothes to wear. Alas, GH convinced me of this golden opportunity for a date night and I still hesitantly checked “Yes.” Peaceful Parenting Prep went into action: I pumped breastmilk for three different types of bottles, a sippy cup, and an Ergo baby carrier lesson plan geared to my modern-struck parents. Nothing still prepared for a date night gone to shit.
Planning on being on the road for only four hours, four turned into six. Lanoy only stopped crying when the car was stopped and she was out of the car seat. No boob, no pacifier, just out of the car seat and in my lap. A million hours later, we arrived at my parents’ as the kids would be staying with my family, including my siblings. I couldn’t pee, eat, walk, get up, or get ready without Lanoy wailing like I’m walking to the snack cupboard and forever out of her little life.
Finally, with a fighting nap baby strapped on my back, I prepare my face with makeup and quickly heat damage my hair before she decides to rip it out. I hold her all day as much as I capably can and nurse her right before we are about to drive off. She wails as I remove her death grip on my dress and just turn and walk away. GH and I “enjoyed” our time out but I wanted to go. I wanted to be with my baby because she needed me. We arrived home and finally her crying bout ended after four hours. She cried the entire time we were at the wedding. She also cried the entire car trip, there and back. Let’s also add in the in-between crying when I needed to go to the bathroom so I estimate it was 14 hours of crying the entire weekend. 14 hours of traumatic absence. 14 hours of an angry soft spot. 14 hours mommy guilt. “Never. Again,” I vow.