I’ve been using Happy Baby’s separation anxiety as my excuse for not joining the gym for months. When summer came, I used his older siblings as my excuse not to go. I made up my mind shortly before the big kids started school that the excuses were over and it was time for me and Happy Baby to go join our local fitness center.
I had done my homework, found a wonderful facility that is affiliated with a hospital where we live that offers lots of group fitness classes, water aerobics, tons of cardio and weight machines, dozens of personal trainers on staff, and a childcare service with A-MAZ-ING hours. Many of the fitness centers I found that offered childcare, only did so for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening, none of which really coincided with the group fitness classes they were offering. Until I found this place. 12 hours a day from Monday through Friday they have childcare available. They have generous weekend hours as well, so I really have absolutely no excuse to not go. Except for one thing…how is Happy Baby going to behave?
You see, sometimes, when Happy Baby is minus his Mommy, Happy Baby becomes Not-So-Happy Baby. My only concern was that even with this great facility, I might be faced with my little guy crying everytime I drop him off.
Yesterday morning we took a tour of the facility, signed all the paperwork, and went on our merry way. This morning I woke up fairly early and told myself that I would go ahead and go to the gym, despite the fact that my “orientation” isn’t until next Monday. I can certainly use the cardio equipment without any instruction from a trainer, and I didn’t see any point wasting a week that was paid for due to a scheduling issue. I laid in bed, relishing these last few mornings of having Mr. Happy Baby home (before he deploys again), and thinking of how great it was going to be to get to the gym. I laid there so long I nearly talked myself out of going…”Eh, it’s kinda late…maybe I’ll just go tomorrow…” (Seriously, it was like 9 am). After I wrestled back and forth on whether or not to still go, I dragged my tired self out of the bed, brushed my teeth, pulled back my hair, washed my face, and put on my gym clothes. I packed a diaper bag for Happy Baby, kissed my hubby goodbye and set off for the gym.
When I arrived, I had to park pretty far away from the entrance because this is a POPULAR facility! No big deal…I’m here to get exercise, so I may as well start with my walk to the front door. I pulled Happy Baby out of his car seat to discover that he had been very busy on the way there…filling his diaper! I quickly changed him in the back of the car and then we went inside. I checked in, took him upstairs to the childcare room, signed him in, and let the staff know that I would be on the 2nd floor and they could page me or come get me if he got unhappy at any time. I set him down in their infant area amidst a gaggle of toys and did my best to sneak out without him seeing me leave. I made my way downstairs and for the next 3o minutes I was on a treadmill listening to music and incessantly worrying that he was upstairs terrorizing the entire staff with his cries for Mommy. At the end of those 30 minutes, I practically ran upstairs to go pick him up…today was just a quick test to make sure he would be ok with being left.
I got upstairs and it was as if he had no idea I had ever left. He was sitting in the middle of the floor contentedly playing with a car and an Elmo toy. He was living up to his name…Happy Baby! You’ve never seen a mom quite as proud as me. He did ok! Without me! This is truly a milestone for both of us. Now I really don’t have any excuse to not go back again tomorrow…and the next day, and the day after that.