Having a baby is a blessing — a home in the Hamptons, a luxury. But the combination doesn’t always make for a relaxing weekend. I’m coming to terms with the fact that time out here is not a weekend away as much as it is relocation—a transplant of us and our stuff to a place with grass, a grill and an outdoor shower.
Each week, I jam a duffle full of onesies. Our son has reflux and is in the 100th percentile for spit-up, soaking minimally four outfits a day. I could leave some of the onesies out here, but he might grow out of them by next weekend.
I work hard to maintain a full supply of diapers at each home. I’m an Amazon Mom, after all. This means I can get things lickity-split—for free! I just call out to the universe and it’s at my front door in two days. Which door? For all I spend, they should know where to find me. [expand]
On the drive out, I sit in the back with our son. He begins to cry. “Just lean over and feed him,” says my husband. Apparently, there’s no time to stop, we have to get out east as soon as possible to unwind. I hesitate, but then unbuckle and hoist myself over the car seat. It’s awkward and unsafe and bumps could cause major injury, but I’m here to tell you that once you cave, never again will your partner see the need to pull over.
We eat well out east, but mealtimes are no longer luxurious. Like many mothers, I’m proud to have mastered feeding my child and myself simultaneously. However, this past weekend alone, the following did land on my son’s head: tamale from DeJesus Grocery, drippings from a Bay Burger, a soggy piece of Espresso’s focaccia that I over-dipped in dressing.
We’re currently working on naptime in both the city and country crib. But on weekends, we practice co-napping, where my husband lies down with our son to sleep. On a recent Saturday afternoon, the two of them upstairs, I panic, unsure how to spend this uninterrupted time of unknown length. My phone buzzes. It’s a text from my husband.
“He’s fst aslp.”
“Grt nws!” I text back.
“Wht dos he look like?” He sends a photo. We text back and forth for a while. I like this new kind of intimacy, but there goes my free time. Sunset swims, beach walks at dusk, cocktails at day’s end. No more. Now, just as the sky gets that golden glow, I draw the shades to our son’s room and do not emerge until dark. But sunrise, that’s mine to enjoy. Five a.m. margaritas, anyone?
At least once a weekend, I attend a yoga class in town. It takes the whole 90 minutes to wipe my mind of its to-do ticker and slow my breathing to a pant-free pace. Finally, in sivasana, I lie supine, at last subdued. I anticipate the instructor’s hands rubbing my temples with lavender oil. Around me I hear chirping and chanting, but then…a cry. Is that…? Have they…? It is. My husband has arrived early to hand off our son while he goes swimming.
According to my calculations, I spend seven hours a weekend—nearly a full day—in prep and travel time to come out east. For my husband, it’s worth it. For me, not always. And yet, when I stroll into town with our boy, pointing out boats and windmills and weathervanes, all of the hassle dissolves. No, it doesn’t. But I’m working on it. [/expand]