I'm on night float tonight, so I didn't leave the house until about 2:00pm. Even though I like having the morning to spend with Cal, sometimes I dread having to leave in the afternoon, as opposed to in the morning when he's still sleeping, because then there are tears and recriminations and I end up feeling like a jerkwad. I got off relatively easy this time--he was playing with his crayons and didn't even seem upset when I told him I was going to work and kissed him goodbye. (Though the temptation sometimes is to sneak out when he isn't looking, I don't really want to do that, or else he'll get the idea that his caretakers can just disappear without warning.)
I was halfway down the block when I realized that I had forgotten something at home. So I went back upstairs, and when I got out of the elevator on our floor, I could already hear him screaming inside. "Mama! MAMA!" Yikes. What to do? Go back in and risk escalating the situation to full meltdown, giving him a happy reunion for a few minutes, only to leave again? Or just forget it all and just get back in the elevator?
I opened the apartment door quietly and tried to figure out where the noise was coming from. It sounded like he and our nanny were in the other room, and she was trying to cajole him into the rocking chair to read a book. Like a damn hamburglar, I tiptoed into the computer room, extricated what I needed (I forgot that I had wanted to bring in some old ABA tests from which to study tonight, figuring I would be up anyway, and it is impossible to study at home, see above, "Mama!" etcetera) and very quietly tiptoed out of the apartment again. By that time, Cal was quiet, and I could hear the sounds of "Caps For Sale" being read in the other room.