Monday, April 07, 2008

Empty nest

I discovered that an hour is about the length of my lovably determined son's attention span.

That's how long he misses me, or at least how long he will throw a tantrum to demonstrate it. One hour. That's a long time for an almost-nine-month-old. I'm flattered. But by Friday it had decreased to forty-five minutes (at which point he fell asleep from the effort), and today he held out only as long as it took la nounou to strap him into the stroller and head for the park.

When they returned an hour or so later and he saw the other family's apartment, he recognized the scene of his previous abandonment and protested again. Une petite colère, said la nounou, the petite indicating to me that the fit must not have lasted more than fifteen minutes. He then found a water bottle to play with on the floor and that was that, maman was temporarily forgotten.

So it appears that things are going better, albeit slowly.

Meanwhile, I find myself back at my own apartment unsure what to do with myself. I went to the grocery store, happy to shop without the weight of le Petit in the baby carrier or the inconvenience of a stroller; I made lunch, happy to cook without peeking periodically into the living room to entertain le Petit in his playpen. Yet the apartment feels empty and I feel a bit lost. Like I should earn this time to myself by doing something useful or inspired. Instead I fret.

Four more days.

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