90 minutes. One and one half of an hour. The average length of a feature film. Enough time to drive about 80 miles away from your house if you live near a highway. I could read more than half of a typical junky novel in that time. Or I could go get my nails done.
And this morning I did.
I had planned to do this. I had three ounces of milk pumped in the fridge. Twice as much as necessary if you consider the one ounce per hour rule.
I stayed in bed with Lucy until 9:30. She nursed and fell back asleep several times in the extra two and a half hours we lolled about in the sack. Eventually I kissed MQD on the cheek and said something along the lines of needing to just rip the band-aid off. Put her in the stroller and take a walk if she is cranky. You know how to warm a bottle, right? She might not even be hungry. Unless you are going to the emergency room, try not to call me.
And then he didn’t.
I sat down across from the man who does my nails and he said “How are you?”
“I’m fine,” I said. And I waited. For him to say “So, where’s your baby?” or “Anything new?” Surely MQD would call and say “She’s crying terribly, come home” and I’d have to say “Oh, she’s fine, I’ll be home as soon as I can…”
The man said nothing. My phone did not ring.
“Relax your hand,” he said, shaking my fingers. I tried. Moments later “Relax your hand,” he said. I am TRYING. Can’t you see I am DYING inside because my six year old barely waved goodbye from across the street as I backed down the driveway and my infant, my less than two month old infant, is at home with my husband and they are NOT calling. NOBODY needs me.
In silence, he did my nails. I read my book. “You want to pick a color? Or you want French?” I looked up. “What? Oh. French, please.” He gestured to the other chair, next to the airbrush machine. I stood to switch chairs, leaving my wallet, my book, my sweater, but grabbing my phone. Surely MQD would call.
The minutes ticked by painfully. “You like? All done,” he said. I am sure that I paid him. I am sure that I walked to my car, but I don’t recall speaking to anyone. I called home immediately. No answer. I hung up and called again. No answer. He called right back. It was quiet at first. “Do you want me to run to the grocery store or should I just come home?”
“We’re okay,” he said. And then I heard her. Not crying, really, just grumbling a bit.
“I’m coming home.” It takes nine minutes to get home from that shopping center. I got home in seven. My eyes wet with tears I said “Mommy’s home, baby girl, I missed you…” and we rocked in the chair in the living room as she rooted around in search of my breast.
“How was it?” MQD asked.
“It was fucking awful. I know I need to go. But it was fucking terrible.”
Fortunately for me, I had my nails done, not my make up. And crying doesn’t ruin your fingernails.