After two weeks of delightful, delirious babymoon, I returned to work yesterday. It felt weird to slip back to my old morning “routine” – I’m not sure I get to call it that, after the 8 months we’ve had – of Irish breakfast tea, The Takeaway playing from my laptop as I pad around the kitchen assembling a bowl of cereal and fruit and yogurt, the dash for the shower as the second hand of the clock shuffles me out the door. I always check my man-purse before leaving the apartment: keys, cellphone, wallet, WNYC badge, Metrocard. I close the door firmly behind me, as the latch rattles a little.
But this time felt different. This time, I left the apartment with the words “my daughter” still as unfamiliar in my mouth as a new tooth. I’ve been watching this little person every day for two weeks: all potential, flailing hands and oddly steady eyes. Now I have to miss out on 9 of her daylight hours? I know it’ll get smaller, but 9 hours is a noticeable fraction of her total time on this earth so far, so I’m a little frustrated by it.