Confession: I can’t recall thefirst time I left the house without my baby. I mean, I have a good guess (anniversary lunch with my partner, during which time my mom stayed with our son) but my memories are so cloudy from those early weeks, thanks to a boatload of exhaustion, that I’m not completely confident that there wasn’t a round of errands or some sort of appointment that happened beforehand, that left my baby with someone else. Still, when I try to think back on that somewhat monumental moment, I can't help but wonder what my baby was thinking when I left for the first time. Like, I know that developmentally object permanence wasn't a thing, so my baby probably didn't just know that mom was going to return. But, did he even notice? Could he tell I was no longer around? Was it a "thing?" Or, did my kid just wonder where the person attached to the floating boobs was? Yeah, probably the last one.
Since I'll never know for sure, I do have a few guesses as to what might have been going through my baby's mind when I left for the very firs time, and it’s a mix of excitement and fear, not unlike Owen Wilson’s excellent Armageddon performance. Still, early-aughts movies, as thorough as they are in their representation of baby feelings (*cough*), don’t provide the full spectrum of emotions that I suspect our little ones experience when they are sans mom for the first time. It’s like the infant version of getting a driver’s license, or signing your first lease, or realizing you can tune into Netflix without having to wait for your partner.
If only baby's could speak. Then again, it's probably for the best that they can't. Not right away, at least. So, in the name of complete speculation and because we'll never know for sure, here's what I'm almost positive (but definitely can't prove) a baby thinks when mom leaves for the first time: