Last night was a huge, huge milestone for the Oakes family… I was invited to a dear friend’s 30th birthday party, which started at 7pm. I discussed it with Jason and he said he was okay with taking care of Mr. Baby that evening and letting me go. So! I was kind of anxious – even though Jason always helps out (he is the bathmaster lol), I have always been the one to put Mr. Baby to sleep. We have found a pretty good routine which is amazingly helpful in settling Mr Baby down… I feed him as much solid food as he will eat, Jason bathes and plays a little splashing game with him; then I nurse him up, turn on his bedtime music, zip him up in the sleepsack, make the sign of the cross on his round little forehead, and turn off the light. He generally cries for about 15 minutes before falling asleep – and sometimes still wakes up around 4am thinking he should be fed! But mostly he has learned what to expect. Well – I was still super anxious about leaving Jason in charge of the whole routine. To make matters worse, Mr Baby wasn’t interested in nursing before I left and – go figure – I just physically couldn’t pump a whole bottle for him. I called Jason at least twice on my way to the party reviewing with him all the little ways to get Mr Baby to eat his dinner and keep him content. I kept checking my phone in the middle of the party, but I finally got so distracted by the sheer bliss of carrying on adult conversations that I let it go. [So get this – I still have social skills! Even after 6 months of near social hibernation – with the exception of several close friends/family members that I keep up with on a daily/weekly basis. I was a little worried in the car that I would have developed a stutter or twitch by now. lol] At 9:45 I realized how late it had gotten and made my hurried goodbyes. With great fear and trepidation, I callled Jason in the car. When he answered, I held my breath for the wailing I was sure I’d hear on the other line. To my astonishment, Jason was happy and calm – and Mr. Baby had been asleep for 2 hours! He didn’t even cry when his Dad put him to bed! It was sweet to hear the little stories Jason wanted to tell me about how cute the baby was with him; and I just felt such a wave of relief knowing that it was indeed possible for Mr Baby to go to sleep without me figuratively holding his hand. I realized as I slipped into bed last night how much I had needed that little party. I feel rejuvenated and encouraged; and so very relieved that I can still hold my own in social situations lol. Today I’m going out with Mr Baby and my crazy yellow lab for a much-needed walk. We love the Charlotte “Four Mile Creek” Greenway I think I may even get myself a Soy Pumpkin Spice Latte on the way back (though my rule is generally that it has to be in the 70s for such an Autumn treat). And I will definitely start planning a party of my own!