Most days when I leave for work, Annalyn waves her little hand and says in her sweet little voice, “Bye-bye!” Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I even get, “Bye-bye, Mommy!”

Yesterday was not so smooth. As I got ready, proud that for once, I wasn’t running several minutes late and my hair was perfectly styled slightly dry, my little girl was sitting on the couch by her daddy. She had a waffle in one hand and a sippy cup of milk in the other. I could see an empty bowl; she’d already inhaled her uh-nana.

I walked up the hallway toward the living room and garage, and Annalyn heard my footsteps on the hardwood floor. And apparently that was all it took.

“Bup? Bup? Mommy? Bup!”

In other words, she wanted me to pick her up and hug her. So, I walked over to the couch, kissed her head and told her I’d see her at lunchtime.

Well, you’d have thought I told her I’d never see her again. The waterworks, they started. No, not mine, although it was close.

It is so hard to leave the house when my baby is crying and wants me to stay. Not loving my job makes it even harder. Monday morning after staying up late to watch a movie with Mark makes it darned near impossible.

But I did it.

Over the weekend, I read a story in Parents magazine about helping your kids understand and accept why Mommy and Daddy have to work. So I followed the advice I’d shared with Mark a few hours before: I used my firm yet positive voice to say, “Mommy’s going to work now, Annalyn. I’ll see you after playtime, for lunch. I love you!”

And I left.

But I didn’t like it.

You know what else I didn’t like? When I came home for lunch a short time later, walked in to see my baby, and was greeted by a big grin and, “Mommy!”

Oh wait, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? How about if that sweet greeting was quickly followed up with her crawling away from me, refusing to let me hold her and responding with repeated cries of “No!” when I offered to help her walk over to Daddy? Not so sweet then, is it?

Thankfully, the tears didn’t last long, and she was happy to eat lunch with Mommy. After all, I am the one who will give her ketchup (or “dot dot” as it’s mysteriously called at our house) for any food, including green beans, grapes and my mother’s homemade banana bread.

So today was a little rough for us. But I forgot about all of that when, for the second day in a row, Mark and I got to watch our not-so-little-anymore baby girl finally take several steps on her own.

That’s right, folks! Real-live walking going on here!

Wouldn’t this be a great time to introduce video to my blog? You’d like that, right? If I embedded a little home video of Annalyn taking her first steps – right here, for you to see?

Well, I’ve got some bad news. The battery on our video camera is dead. As a doornail. Or a dead camera battery.

Either way, I have nothing to offer you. I can give you this:

But, much to my and my mother’s chagrin, I have no video of this last weekend’s miracle milestone. Maybe tomorrow . . .

How was your Monday? Do you find it hard to start the week, or are Mondays no different than the other days of the week for you?

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