Still, though, NJ's day care doesn't begin until Sept. 1. So, for two weeks and a couple of days -- against all odds and reason, and despite what I just said about how it can't be done -- I'll be juggling her and my new duties simultaneously. There's one day next week that I'll definitely have to leave her in someone else's capable hands, when I go to my employer's headquarters to get a pass key and have someone get me on their computer network. Otherwise, though, I'll be cramming a lot of work into the two stretches of time during the day when NJ takes her naps, sneaking in some more work while NJ tools around in her Pack-and-Play pen, and finishing up in the evening when she's in bed. My new work team members understand this situation and are cool with it. In fact, they are more sanguine about things than I am. I feel like Daniel Plainview:
I've explained to NJ that I need to go back to work to put more food on her table and pay for things like birthday presents and day care. ("But if you stayed home with me you wouldn't have to pay for day care," she said via mental telepathy yesterday, leaving me hemming and hawing.) I'm really trying to convince myself, though. Despite rare, short-lived bouts of boredom with changing diapers and mixing formula, being home with her has been the best time of my life. And she's unbelievably charming and cute these days, so much so that listing the reasons why can make one sound like Michael Palin bragging about the Spanish Inquisition's attributes: NJ's two chief weapons are her chubby cheeks, her two front teeth and her sunny disposition. Three ... her three weapons are cheeks, teeth, disposition. And infectious giggle. Four! Her FOUR chief weapons of adorableness are cheeks, teeth, disposition, giggle, and her new go-to move, grabbing my nose. Amongst her weaponry are such elements as chubby cheeks, nose-grabbing ... wait, I'll come in again. It's not going to be easy.
I've abandoned my child! I've abandoned my child!
So two life-changing days are right around the corner. Monday's the day I start the second job, one I'll be performing at the same time as my current gig, taking care of the kid, for a while; and Sept. 1 is the day someone else -- people I barely know! -- start taking care of NJ all day long. The first one will usher in a new, if short, era of confusion and hubbub to the household. The other day will be, to say the least, bittersweet.
Before those, though, comes the anniversary of the day that changed my life and The Wife's life forever, and for the better. So: Let's focus on that, shall we?