Mar 26, 2011

A week with the little one

This week, baby-boy and I were on our own. Hubby needed to travel to Paris on business, and so we were left to our own devices from Monday night till Friday afternoon. I had been panicking about this scenario for weeks ... how on earth was I going to manage an entire day, several times in a row, with baby-boy and his needs? It seemed like an insurmountable task and I was therefore none too happy when Monday rolled along and hubby had to say goodbye.

I had initially asked my mom to come out and help this week, but she declined to do so preferring to see baby-boy in his early days rather than now. In my desperation to battle loneliness, baby-fatigue and general exhaustion, I did something I rarely ever do: I enlisted the help of my friends.

It occurs to me now how lucky I am. We've only been in Montreal a little over 18 months, and yet I knew enough people to call on in this time of need. I arranged for several friends to share the burden of helping me out. Some came in the morning; others came during the evening. I kept the afternoon's "free" for baby-boy's and my naps. 

Asking friends for help turned out to be great. Not only did I have an extra set of hands in the house to take care of various tasks such as cooking, refilling the humidifiers, clearing out the dishwasher, etc, but it also allowed me to pass on baby-boy to their arms when I wanted to shower or check a few emails. What's more, we had a lot of time for conversation - a luxury that often passes us by due to the hectic pace of life. Baby-boy's need to be held and cuddled forced us to sit down and listen to each other. In all, the week turned out to be a wonderful experience.

Well, except for a few hiccups created by the bureaucracy of Quebec. Unfortunately, I could not escape various headaches and painful phone calls with the bureau that is supposed to be paying me my maternity leave. We've now had several letters and conversations back-and-forth, not to mention several trips outside the house to get all the paperwork sorted. And it never seems to be what they want. I finally got someone competent (I hope) on the phone who explained the proper procedure to me. Why they can't write that in the letter, I'll never know. It seems like they want to make it as difficult and vague as possible. Not only that, but I also found out that the english translation of the instructions are incorrect -- wonderful. It made for one hellish day on Thursday. And I missed most of my afternoon naps this week as a result. But I overcame it with only a tear or two escaping my eyes. I am determined not to cry over some damned red tape that has resulted in a nearly two-month delay in income.

Needless to say, baby-boy and I are thrilled that hubby is now back. I had planned a balloon-themed "Welcome home daddy"-signed airport pickup, but it wasn't to be -- too much traffic at 3pm on a Friday to make it to the airport before hubby was through. 

So here's to great friends; the ones who come through when you ask them for a huge favor, and do so with a smile on their face!

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