After two weeks of unfettered baby-snuggling (and feeding! SO MUCH FEEDING!), Wednesday was my first day back at school for prep work. Classes don't start until next week but I needed to print my syllabus and get my first few lectures ready and I really needed to get out of the house, so I went in for a few hours.
First challenge was getting dressed. My two pairs of maternity jeans, which I chose carefully because they seemed like they'd be good for the postpartum awkward period, would not go on, which was a great way to start the day, but one of my regular pair of jeans went on just fine. Just fine isn't exactly the right description, but they buttoned and zipped with a little bit of effort. A loose maternity shirt and a cardigan hid the muffin top nicely. Unfortunately it was ninety-five degrees outside and I had to park like half a mile from my office, so the cardigan was not ideal, but YAY NORMAL CLOTHES!
Mary got all dressed up too for her big academic debut. We took a Back to School picture, the first of three for the family this year.
It took twenty minutes to find a parking place which never happens at my tiny school except for this week and next week and then I spent several minutes debating the merits of the huge fancy stroller versus the beat up old Graco that would hold the carseat, ultimately deciding that working would be easier with a sleeping baby, coolness factor aside, so I should just stick the carseat in the Graco and be done with it. It worked because she slept in there for two full hours and I finished my syllabus and returned a whole bunch of emails.
Before this week I was dreading going back to work, especially since Mary is so tiny still, but I am so glad I am working this semester. In some ways I feel like this is the real beginning of my career, instead of the end of grad school in 2009, since I know FOR SURE that there will be no more pregnancies. I've NEVER had a continuous block of time stretching out like this! I thought today that I should set some five year goals so that I would have something tangible to work toward and then I looked down at Mary, who was not as cooperative today, but who was very snuggly, and thought "She'll be in KINDERGARTEN in five years." "Mary in kindergarten" has always coincided with "Real job" in my mental projections and now that she is here, that actually feels like something that could happen one day (although Mary is going to have to be awake for more than ten minutes at a time to go to kindergarten).
So that means there's a lot of work to be done in the next five years: Publishing, grant(s), teaching experience, conference attendance, form professional relationships, find a mentor, lose twenty pounds, potty train James, diapers!, homework help, dinner-making, laundry!
I'm actually excited about this. Three weeks ago I was ready to quit. Pelvis dysfunction will do that to you.
Although for the next few months, most of this will have to be done with only one hand.