I recently took a lovely little cruise out of Miami. It was a single weekend cruise with six ladies to celebrate a bachelorette who happens to be my sister. Needless to say, it was not an event a toddler was welcome to.
Here are the biggest changes of my sans-baby weekend:
Sleeping. I woke up when I wanted (or when the girls threaten to leave without me). My alarm clock was not a crying child (or shrieking, depending on the morning). I got to nap! With no worries about when I had to get up to take care of another human.
Eating. No getting up for more Cheerios, no picking up the sippy cup for the millionth time. I got to eat all my own damn food, while it was hot, in a single sitting. Bonus: for my evening meals, someone actually brought the food to me. I didn’t even have to get up.
Planning. You don’t realize how much planning a child requires until they’re not around. I got to do what I wanted, when I wanted. No coordinating with a sitter or daycare or a fussy toddler’s nap schedule.
Carrying shit. I left the room with literally nothing but the clothes on me and a key card stuffed in my bra. You know what I need just to go to Target? At minimum, I need: diapers, wipes, food in case he gets hungry, a sippy in case he gets thirsty, a change of clothes for if he blows out, two toys, and hand sanitizer.
Cleaning. Someone else made my bed! Who am I kidding, I don’t ever make my bed. SOMEONE MADE MY BED.
Hurting. At one point, I bent over to pick up a towel and I realized with a jolt, “Holy shit my back doesn’t hurt.” Crazy how NOT wrestling a toddler all the damn time suddenly helped that.
Me time. Oh my god. This was so exciting. I read a book on the beach and I wrote stories on the deck and I wandered down for a show and I danced my ass off. My hobbies still exist!
There were downsides too.
Other people’s children. I saw babies everywhere I looked. At one point my sister pointed out that I have a baby radar. Did I notice any hot guys? Nope. But I remember the curly haired blonde baby from lunch and the Latina boy who ran circles around mom and dad.
I thought about my baby pretty much constantly. We’d go on the deck and I’d think, “Oh, Baby Boy would love that water play area.” Or the same about the lights in the casino, the music of the shows, the rock of the ocean. And when we hit the aquarium at Atlantis I imagined his big blue eyes looking at all the fish and I seriously got teary.
Surprisingly, I didn’t worry too much about him. But for all of his trouble, that kid is a part of me. It constantly felt like I was missing a limb, and I kept turning around expecting to see that limb show up. It was odd. Parenthood does that to you. You don’t even realize how different it is until you live a few days without your bloodsucking, heart-melting spawn.