Two of the people I trust most in the world, my parents, came to our house to babysit her, so that made things a little easier.
"Hi mom! You can leave now."
But I was still tense. It's like I told my mom: "I trust you more than anyone, but still not as much as myself. Sorry." She understood.
To give you an idea of my mental state:
The night before our 4:30 am departure, I put Darby to sleep since it was "the last time." It was very emotional and dramatic in my head. For instance, she's pretty much over the rocking chair, wanting to be simply plopped into bed these days. But that night, I tried to dramatically hold and sing to her in the dark, tears streaming down my face and my voice shaking. She, on the other hand, seemed nothing short of weirded out by me, pushing away my cradling arms, shaking her head, and pointing to the crib.
I acquiesced, but then sat beside her crib, staring at her and singing with tears streaming down my face and my voice shaking, while she ignored me.
Then I left the room to pack and put the finishing touches on an 18 page (I'm not exaggerating) instruction booklet I had prepared for my parents.
Now, everyone seemed to think this instruction booklet a huge joke, including my husband. He even brought home an enormous binder from his office to keep it in. At first it seemed very thoughtful, and I believed him to be as serious as myself about the booklet. Then I opened the cover and saw that he had printed out a picture from the internet of a machine gun, along with the words, "WHAT I WILL USE IF ANYTHING HAPPENS TO MY DAUGHTER."
Greg and my parents got a huge kick out of that. Such a jokester.
I had stayed up late two nights before we left, manically writing "the book" (what my parents nicknamed it.) In fact, even I must admit, once we were settled into our first airplane, I started to feel a twinge of embarrassment at some of the things I vaguely remembered writing.
One of them was a full scientific explanation of why we limit Darby's sugar intake.
Another was detailed instructions on how to avoid getting water marks on our glassware. (I'm OCD about water marks on glassware.)
But before you start feeling sorry for my parents, rest assured that they did not worry themselves greatly with this booklet. After all, they do know me rather well, and know when to take me with a grain, or a 5 lb bag, of salt.
A couple examples:
I wrote in length about how to avoid breaking the child safety lock on the kitchen sink cabinet (which is easy to do) because it contains poisonous substances. When we returned, one of the first things my mom told me was that my dad had broken it.
"Oh..." I said, "I wrote about that..."
"Yeah," she replied, "dad didn't really read your book ... I did though!"
"Well ... yeah, I don't really blame him," I admitted.
Then later that night as we unpacked, my father approached me and casually stated, "So ... Darby might not be very happy with you if you don't buy blueberry muffins from now on..."
"What?" I demanded. "Why?"
"Well, I may or may not have given her half of one every morning after her breakfast."
But notwithstanding all of that, my parents did such an excellent job babysitting Darby, that she was nothing short of disappointed when we returned.
(And not only that, but my dad actually tried to address our Bathroom Pipe Situation (one of the aforementioned surprises this home had in store for us, which we have yet to tackle, as it will be time consuming, costly and gross. Also, my mom baked us a pie.))
Seriously, five days prior, when my parents had arrived, Darby ran frantically around the house for hours, awaiting their arrival. Upon their arrival, she was downright gleeful.
How did she behave when we walked in the door Monday night? She sat staring at us from my mom's lap, sucking her thumb, and seemed unable to decide between greeting us or continuing to watch a Disney movie.
And what was our first baby free trip like? Stay tuned to find out in part II of this post! (Yeah, I'm fancy like that.)
Part II: Our First Baby Free Trip