Saturday, October 18, 2008

A bad case of Mamitis

We just arrived from my mother land. Yes, grandma's house. I know I have said Abu Tita (my mother came up with this name for herself because she can't stand Abuela=grandma in Spanish. I wonder what Jackie O's grandkids called her. If it was grandma, Mami will oblige I'm sure) is not your typical, get up at 3AM with the kid grandma, but she is an abuela in every other way. She was willing to take care of Amelia during waking hours, put her down for naps, even take care of her at night.  So I was dreaming of sleeping in, dinner alone with my husband, hell, at least go to the bathroom on my own. Wishful thinking.

Amelia developed a bad case of Mamitis. That is the Puerto Rican term for a disease all children develop at some point. It's an allergy to other people that are not her mother. Not even Daddy will do.  Amelia was stricken by Mamitis by the second day at my parents' house. It was Monday and we think she was also missing her baby sitter and her routine. Saturday and Sunday she was all about Abu Tita and Abuelo. In fact, the moment she saw my mother at the airport, she threw her arms at her, which wrote her in the book of life of Jackie O Belaval. Amelia is so in the will. 

But by Monday, when I decided to sleep in since my husband had slept until ten the day before, Amelia turned on all of us. She was cool and happy with everyone, as long as I was in the room.  Even when I left to fix her a bottle, she would cry.  So, no more sleeping in for me, no quick trips to the U.S. Embassy for my husband's daily dose of Americana (that is what my brother calls Steve's once a day trip to Starbucks for a frap), no more Abu Tita putting her down for the night so I could party. 

The case of mamitis was exacerbated by teething.  The girl is getting her molars. She's a teething machine so she was drooling and chewing on anything. I did get out with my girlfriends for lunch and with another couple for dinner. I emphasize the get out part since I almost escaped.  I made sure I left her sleeping and completely unaware of my departure,before I made a break for it. I was successful both times. 

So Steve came back well rested. He slept late more than once, read the paper in silence, watched TV.  There is no such thing as intense as Mamitis for fathers because even when little girls go through the all about Daddy phase, they still go to Mommy to get fed, changed and bathed.  He noticed how tough I had it though and  on our plane ride home he told me I wasn't a single mother and I shouldn't feel like I had all the burden.  Yeah right, can someone tell our baby that? 

That said, we had a great time and it was better to have Amelia clinging to me, as long as she was sweet and friendly to my family.  She thrived in their loudness and constant joy of living.  She was in love with her six year old cousin and her Aunt and Uncle rock in her eyes. She even took an hour nap while "merengue" songs were blasting from the stereo system in a restaurant in the middle of the country.  Just to see her enjoying that environment in which I grew up in was worth having her attached to my leg.  Plus something about crawling all over the place in an apartment triple the size of her own Chicago abode, going out every day and playing with her many visitors had her sleeping through the night for 12 hours in a row. God bless the island air. Ay Mama!

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