Family life

Leaving baby overnight for the first time

Katie and Blaine left Sophie overnight with her grandparents for the first time and everyone survived (with only minor anxiety).

By Katie Dupuis
Leaving baby overnight for the first time

Poppa couldn't find Soph's hat so he improvised with an old one (a tad big!). This pic was evidence that all was well at home.

I couldn’t look back when I walked out the door. I heard her downstairs at my parents’ house, babbling to my dad, laughing as she bowled a tower of blocks over. I started to call out my goodbye, but Blaine ushered me out the door before I could open my mouth and alert attention to our exit. It was better this way. Sophie wouldn’t see us for a whole 24 hours — much, much longer than just being at daycare — and we wanted her first real overnight with Nonna and Poppa to be a positive experience.
The first few minutes of our drive were very quiet. I’m sure Blaine was thinking about this experience as a milestone, that our sandy-haired little girl was growing all too quickly, while I was listing every possible horrible thing that could happen her. (Because I’m like that. At one point, my heart started to race, thinking “I forgot to tell them that she reaches for pot handles on the stove now!” Nevermind the fact that they’d raised four children without scalding any one of us, and that Sophie isn’t tall enough to actually grab the handle anyway. That didn’t even register.)
After a while, I dozed off to Blaine’s favourite AC/DC album on the radio. And a funny thing happened. No one screeched in the back seat; no one dropped her soother and kicked my chair as she rooted around to find it; and no one stunk up the car an hour in. I missed her fiercely, but there was something nice about falling asleep in the car (and for Blaine, about listening to something other than the Fisher Price "Around the World" CD Sophie has grown to love. I’ve never hated "Alouette" more).
We stopped for coffee and talked about serious and not-so-serious things. We listened to an audio book (The Good Rat by Jimmy Breslin, to feed our mutual interest in the history of the mafia. The Godfather fans, right here). And we made it there in the estimated amount of time, rather than adding an hour to the trip with diaper stops and car seat breaks.
There was Viamede Resort in the Kawarthas, close to Peterborough, Ontario. Think Dirty Dancing meets Canadian winter. This resort is bustling in the summer, with every warm-weather activity under the sun, but it was positively serene in the snow. We cozied into our suite, where afternoon naps were first on the agenda. A second nap in the same day! We followed it up with a walk around the grounds (in the midst of an exciting multi-year renovation) and then an unbelievable dinner in the dining room (creamy smooth asparagus and Parmesan soup! Homemade pasta! Espresso crème brule!). There was a repeat performance in the morning, too, with French toast and blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Too bad all I could think about was how much Soph would have loved the pancakes.
Twenty-four hours was long enough to be away from our girl. We arrived to get Sophie at my mom and dad’s just around 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, where I fully expected her to be napping. But there she was, ready to lunge into my arms, and she’d only fall asleep after a good 20 minutes of cuddle time from her mom and dad. Apparently a day was long enough for her, too.

This article was originally published on Feb 21, 2013

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