I spent my first night away from Erin (since she got home from the hospital) at the weekend. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel being away from her and how Ruth would get on looking after her for the entire night on her own.
Erin did everything in her power in my opinion to keep me from leaving. Firstly, during the day she decided to pass out asleep on me in a bid to stop me from getting off the couch. She even timed it for the Lions match. Clever little thing.
Then she had, let's call it a dirty protest at the fact I was leaving and did a poonami. "Dad will have to stay now and change me". But even after all her efforts and a few tears, (which I'd like to think were for me, but she was just unsettled all day), I told Indie to mind the girls and I hit the road.
Hit the Road
Normally, I hate driving to Dublin. The road is just so fucking boring but with all the lockdowns this was going to be my first long spin in the new car. So a part of me, for once, was looking forward to the drive.
That excitement faded fast once I left the rebel county and had another 2 hours ahead of me.
Once on the road, I couldn't help but think about how Ruth was getting on. No sooner, had the thought popped into my head, I got a call to say Erin had done another poonami. Maybe Erin, thought I'd turn the car around and come home to change her again.
I won't lie, I was delighted I didn't have to deal with 2 poonami's in one day.
Anyway, my plan was to stop in and see my good mate The Wine Bluff, who I hadn't seen in ages. It would be a quick visit to see him and his little girl who's 3 weeks older than Erin. Then it was onto my Dad's for the night. I was picking a roof box up off him for our staycation in a few weeks time and then I would do a few things in Dublin Sunday, before racing home to my girls.
First Night Away
Now a few people had mentioned that I must be looking forward to a full night's sleep on my first night away. And I by god was I! I was going to enjoy a few beers with the auld man, watched the Euros and then be out for the count for an uninterrupted 8 hours minimum.
I thought to myself, bliss. Even just going to bed and not preparing anything was a rare delight. I just had a quick phone call with Ruth, brushed my teeth and off I went thinking to myself I'm going to have a great night's sleep and be like a new man in the morning.
Now, the few beers helped me slip off to sleep easily enough. But at around 1 am, maybe 2 am I woke up in a panic. Something in my head said, "I can't hear Erin, wake the fuck up!". Which I did. I was so flustered and panicked that I couldn't find her next to the bed in the cosleeper and it took me a minute to realize where the hell I was.
This happened another 2 times during the night. A full night's sleep it was not, unfortunately. But it did have me thinking over my morning coffee, I can't be alone? Surely, other Dads, Moms and parents have experienced this?
A form of separation anxiety if you will. Is that what happened to me?
I Missed Erin & Ruth... and of course Indie.
I didn't think I miss Erin & Ruth as much as I actually did. When I was leaving, I was like it's one night, they'll be grand, I'll be grand. Indie will look after them and Ruth's is an incredible mom and well able to deal with anything that might arise. More so than me.
But I did miss them and couldn't help but think about them the entire time I was away. Erin more so than Ruth as she's well able to look after herself. Maybe that's why I kept waking? Is this the crap my mother has been saying to me for years "You'll always be my baby, I'll never stop thinking or worrying about you".
A scary thought, did I just turn in my mother? (Shivers slightly... and because my Mam reads this, I love you Mam).
Other nights away
I think the night away was a good learning experience for us both in many ways. For me, it was how to deal with being away as I've few things coming up and for Ruth solo parenting. I think having those times to solo parent is hugely important to build your confidence in your parenting skills. And you can only build that confidence by doing it.
It will be Ruth's turn at some point to head away for the night and I'll get a chance to fully test my Dad skills. I can't wait, I'll keep ye posted.