Last night, on day 36 of our life with Ezra, we packed up a diaper bag and a bottle and did something amazing: dropped our baby off at my parents’ and went to the movies.
I’ve heard other new parents describe the experience of leaving their baby with a babysiter for the first time as excruciating and stressful. Of course, Sandy leaves Ezra with me all day every day, so I didn’t expect him to freak out. But I have never spent more than a Target run’s worth of time away from him in his life and I wondered if I would feel a wrenching separation.
As I walked out to the car, I did have a passing moment of anxiety, wondering if I should have taught my parents to text so that they could reach us more easily during the movie. I quickly got over it, realizing that the very worst thing that could happen would be for Ezra to fuss for two and a half hours, in the hands of two people who think even his fussing is pretty adorable, and who are expert shushers, lullabyers, and rockers. I wasn’t even too worried about him crying the whole time. We won a temperament jackpot with Ezra, who is really very chill, crying rarely except when he’s hungry. Now that we’ve finally gotten him to accept a bottle, even though he’s not used to it yet, we figured that if he was really starving, he’d work it out. In other words, it was going to be fine.
Sandy got us popcorn and a drink and we snuggled in for our first post-baby big-screen movie, (500) Days of Summer. We both really liked it, though I couldn’t help thinking that it was funny to be on our first date as settled mid-30s parents watching a movie that would have been so important to us at 23.
We headed back right after the movie, and found my parents in their living room, absolutely kvelling over our boy. They packed a lot of delight into their two hours. They took him up and down the block in his stroller to meet their neighbors, lots of whom have young children and have been giving my mom hand-me-down supplies for Ezra for months. He drank an ounce of milk out of his bottle and sucked on a pacifier for a while (something he won’t do for me). He performed hilarious tummy-time tricks. And, as a pièce de résistance, peed all over my mom. They’ve already emailed me photos and are demanding to know when they can do it again.
In our pre-baby life, we went to the movies pretty regularly, and it was something we wanted to try as much as possible to keep doing after Ezra was born. So far so good. And we have an embarrassment of riches to help us out, with Ezra’s other grandma, his great-great-aunt, his cousin, and many of our friends, all ready and excited to get some alone time with the little guy.