Guilt and a gut

Finally, 13 months after Lucy was born, I have decided that it's time for me to start going back to the gym.  I haven't been since I was engaged, and have ZERO excuses.  Especially because there's a gym right across the street (how easy could it get?), so I stopped in and discover that they have a babysitting service for members... Perfect!

Lucy and I spent some time there to get to know the staff and see how we like it before signing up. Most of the kids (never more than a few at a time) are within a couple of months of Lucy's age. In fact, when we were there, there were 3 girls between 11 and 16 months that were sitting at a little kiddie table, having snacks and juice and playing with toys. Lucy was so excited to play with the toys and after about 20 minutes, we gave the babysitting a thumbs up.

So although I'm optimistic and think it's a good thing for Lucy to have SOME time away from me in a safe place, I'm a little nervous about the adjustment since she currently is with me pretty much all the time.  Certainly with either me or Nat or with a family member like my mom, Lucy-sitter extraordinaire. 

So Monday, we start. Lucy is the only kid there (I got there very early) and I left her with snacks, a sippy, a big hug and kiss, and headed on up to the gym. The rule for sad babies is if they cry for 10 mins, they'll come get me - but as I leave I turn around and Lucy is already into the toys, no tears. Yay Lu!  I positioned myself on a machine facing the door so I could see if they come up to get me, turn up my ipod (C&C Music Factory? Wow, it really has been a long time since I've gone to the gym...) and every time someone walks through the door my heart stops, and sure enough, it's just another gym-goer. Ten minutes pass and I think I'm in the clear! Good for Lucy! I feel the endorphins going and I'm getting that great work-out feeling, so proud of my little girl. Then at 12 minutes, I see the head babysitter walk through the door and give me a wave. Uh oh.

Poor Lucy was red faced and crying, but the very second I pick her up, she stops crying and starts talking about her crackers. I'm a little disheartened - because a) Lucy spent the past 12 minutes crying and nervous about being left without me, and b) Operation Get In Shape has come to a screeching halt.

Tuesday, we try again and came a little later in the morning.  The three 1-year old girls are there, so Lucy stayed happily for a whole hour with her new buddies. Time to start stalking their moms to find out what times the girls will be there (answer: during yoga, of course).

Wednesday - no girls, and 12 minutes in I get the wave. Then Friday - another successful day. So that's 2 successes and 2 fails.  This week we'll continue this trial to see if it's going to work. My mind tells me that it's good for both of us to have a little time apart when she's with other kids in a safe place for a short period of time. I'm so proud of her on the days she shares dolls and games with the other girls, but my heart aches on the days that she cries. Poor little munchkin.  We take some classes together at a toddler program, Little Movers and Creative Playspace, and a few minutes in she wants nothing to do with me and everything to do with the other kids, so hopefully as we take more classes she will be able to translate that independence to the times when she's not right at my side.

In the meantime though, we will keep trying with babysitting - wish us luck!


amy said…
aw, lucy bug! i probably need to get moving on something like this, too, so thanks for keeping us posted...

i'm such a WIMP when it comes to other peeps hanging with her. and so is cc, so neither of us really helps the other move on.

but the gym is pretty perfect since you're right THERE in case anything happens, but you're both getting space. cuz lawd knows that girl is probably sick of my face 24/7...
Nikki said…
I'm such a wimp too... but we just got back from the gym - I had a 45-minute training session which I nervously signed up for - and Lucy was again the only kid there but TOTALLY HAPPY! I thought she must have fallen asleep or something, but I think she's just getting the hang of this playing with non-mommy thing.
Juro said…
Red-faced crying Nikki / independent Nikki... gee this all sounds familiar! :) You're doing a great job!

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