Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bad Parenting: Me?

I neglected to mention in my previous posts that at the conclusion of our move, Newmommy and I went away for four days to Aruba to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It was a long-planned vacation that just ended up coinciding with our house closing.

It was also the first time we were away from Bud for that long. We had previous done one- and two-night getaways, but never a true leave-the-country vacation. So, naturally, as the months and weeks lead up to our departure, the question of whether or not this was "Bad Parenting" hit me pretty hard.

Very few people I know have left a less-than-two-year-old for five nights; but then again, Newmommy and I are in a unique position of having two local and extremely willing sets of babysitter-grandparents (not to mention a local aunt), so perhaps the trend is not a good indicator of whether or not I'm just a bad parent. What did bother me was the look on Bud's face when Newmommy and I came back from our first weekend away from her: the blank "I don't know you" stare. Heartbreaking. And the vision repeated on me while I determined whether or not to go. Still, I thought, that took no more than a few hours to fade away.

I managed to convince myself that going away was the right thing to do. Not only did it give me the opportunity to spend five days alone with Newmommy (which we hadn't done since September 2006, and even longer if you count little miss Kicky McKickstein in Newmommy's belly...), it gave Bud the opportunity to develop relationships with her grandparents without me and my wife hovering and criticizing their baby-tending abilities. Plus, it develops trust...Bud may get upset that mommy and daddy leave, but at least she'll understand that we come back. It also helps her develop some independence.

All good arguments which didn't do much for me dreading leaving my little girl. That's not to say I didn't have a good time...I definitely enjoyed (and needed) the time with my other girl. It's just hard not to think that, despite all of my PhD-level child psychology arguments, I'm not a bad dad for leaving my little girl for almost a week.

So, we will see how she reacts tomorrow morning, when Newnana and Newgrampy return with the princess. And, over the next few days, I will give you an even more in-depth look at Newdaddy's vacation. Don't worry...I am not posting my pictures from the off-road jeep tour; just focusing on the daddying topics.

(P.S. Another added bonus of the Aruba vacation was to be out of the country and, what I thought, out of the reach of major league baseball, during a time that I had a sneaking suspicion would not be good for the Yanks. Boy, was I wrong. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that our hotel was hosting an over-fifty-Red Sox fan retreat.)

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