Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Help Pu-leaze!

Isn't it funny how I now want to go to my blogger friends for advice?

I have a problem. And when you hear what it is, you'll be like, "That's your problem? If only I had that problem, you bitch!"

Still, it is a problem for me and I need your advice.

Here's what's what. The fiance and I are going to Provance for a week in July. The Dictator is not coming with us. I'm ok with this because I've never been to Provance and I'll only be leaving The Dictator for one week.

I've left The Dictator for a week before. Once when I went to Paris and another time when I went to Arizona. Both times I thought I would die, and got a feeling of what it's like to be a junkie heading to rehab.

Yes, My Name Is Rebecca and I'm a Dictator-aholoic. Even after one day, I start to shake without seeing her, and I need my fix. I tell you, quitting smoking was the hardest thing I've ever done, next to not seeing The Dictator for a week. (Oh, and I once hiked up that Grouse Grind in Vancouver and that was pretty fucking hard too.)

Anyway, The Fiance is going to Italy after Provance for another week to visit friends who own a Villa there. He wants me to come along too. I told him, "No fucking way. I can't leave The Dictator for more than a week."

But, I've never been to Italy. I've never stayed in a Villa in Italy. I've never been to the Prada outlet in Italy. And I want too.

Luckily I have Nanny Mimi who is more than happy to move into our home for a week, to take care of The Dicatator while we're gone. And The In-Laws will be around too, to help out. In fact, I think the In-Laws love it when we go away, because they can pretend they're The Dictator's parents. Anyway.

My best friend, Robo, who has four kids, has to plan three months in advance for people to take care of her children, when she wants to go away even for four days.

My parents, too, have offered to come stay at our house while we're gone. So, The Dictator will have four grandparents, Nanny Mimi, and a portable DVD player to keep her occupied while we're gone.

So that makes me feel a little better about leaving her. But, still. Can I really leave her for TWO weeks? Will I enjoy myself if I'm missing her so much, which I know I will?

So, do I stay for two weeks, or don't I? Is it too long to leave my baby behind? Or will it be good for her?

Help me please!

(Also, I'm sorry if I haven't posted your comments. It's not my fault. It's Mr. Blogger's fault. In fact, after yesterday, if Mr. Blogger was my boyfriend, I'd dump him. He's given me so many issues in the past few days. So it wasn't personal. Blame Mr. Blogger.)


Blogger Kristen said...

Italy is my dream destination- so I would definitely go. But this is me talking, knowing it's not gonna be happening any time soon, knowing I'm not the one who'll have to miss her baby- so I wouldn't blame you if you stayed home. I'd be torn too.

8:07 PM

Blogger Cindy said...

I think you should go for the two weeks; after one week it won't even make a difference to her. It will be hard for you though, but it will be hard either way, so I say do it. But I don't have kids so what do I know. Also, if you'd like, I'm small and can fit in your luggage, I will travel that way to give you moral support! Good idea? Think about it. jk.

You are definitely lucky. I would kill for that trip.

8:57 PM

Blogger Jenn said...

It would be really hard for me to leave my kids for that long - not that I wouldn't; just that it would be really really hard. I'd have to go shopping at Prada to make myself feel better, but geez, ITALY! That would be hard to pass up.
I think I'd go. Even though by the second week I'd be wondering if they remember me.....but you just KNOW that grandparents will spoil the Dictator. She'll have a great time. So will you. And your reunion at the end of two weeks will be all that much better - plus you'll have some great shoes! Buy a pair for the dictator while you're at it.

12:49 AM

Anonymous Emma said...

What about taking her with you?We're coming to Toronto for two weeks in the end of June, and we're taking our 2 year old with us (from Amsterdam). No point in leaving your kid behind while staying in a villa, I'd say.

1:40 AM

Blogger chichimama said...

Ooooh. What a quandry. I LOVED Italy, and hated France. So I would skip Provence and go straight to Italy, but that's just me :-). I would be hard pressed to miss Italy. But then again I've never left my kids for more than three nights, and they've been with my husband then so I can only imagine leaving them with the babysitter/grandparents for that long....

3:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might regret it later if you don't go. Like when she turns into a bratty teenager and says she hates you (it could happen). You'll be like: I gave up a trip to Italy for you!!!

3:57 AM

Anonymous Laura said...

I say go. Take some time for yourself and your partner to spend quality time together or reconnect. Bah, it's Italy! You'd be crazy not to go. But then again, I don't have children, so I can't relate to your situation.

The fact that all the grandparents and Mimi are all willing to help is fantastic. I say do it, don't look back and bring back fabulous presents for everyone who helped you out, and the Dictator, of course. :) Good luck!

5:03 AM

Blogger York Region Baby said...

That's a tough one for sure. I have a harder time leaving my 13 1/2 month old now, whereas last summer I left him quite easily for a girls weekend we he was 3 months or a weekend at a cottage.

How about a webcam? So you can see each other while away.

But think about it 2 weeks without having to bribe someone and time to recover from what sounds like an exhausting few weeks.

5:32 AM

Blogger JennC said...

Me and Hubby have always been able to get away from the kids for a couple of weeks every year. Luckily, I have Saints for in-laws otherwise I would crazy for all the bickering...

I say go for the two weeks (make the jet lag worth it). Cindy above is right in that it probably won't make a difference to the Dictator whether you stay longer or not. It's a win-win situation:

Dictator is spoiled by fawning adults for two weeks.

Dictator's mother (ahem, you) can have a rest from parenting.

And finally, the Fiancé gets your "undivided" attention (read into this if you like, the Fiancé is a guy after all :) ).

5:34 AM

Blogger Laural Dawn said...

Tough dilemma.
I couldn't do it, but I've also never left my son for more than a night. (he did just fine, I didn't do as well).
I was also never offered a child free visit to a villa in Italy and a trip to Provence.
You should so do it and not feel guilty. You can call and stuff.
But, are you kidding about the Prada outlet? I don't think there's really a Prada outlet. Is there? Because that in itself would be a REALLY good reason to go to Italy.

6:20 AM

Blogger Rebecca said...

Tough call. The part of me that's dying of jealousy over your trip says "GO! GO! GO!" and the other part of me who can't breathe without my boys says "ARE YOU CRAZY??"

So yeah, can't help ya.

But just so you know, Mr. Blogger hasn't been a great friend to me lately either.

6:21 AM

Blogger Gabriella said...

I would do it! Although I feel like I'm in the same shoes as you, I'm going to NY without my daughter in July for 4 days and I'm already in a panic!!! She'll be 11mths then, can she be without me for 4 days????
Go to Italy you won't regret it!!!!

6:25 AM

Anonymous Shannon said...

I say go. Of course, having no children, this is an easy choice for me. However, I do know that the Dictator will never remember that you were gone, but you WILL remember the amazing one-on-one time you had with the fiance. And trust me, time between you two is precious and shouldn't be compromised. It sounds like a fabulous will miss her, but two weeks will pass by quickly. Thank your lucky stars you have a great family to help you out, and have a great time!

6:39 AM

Anonymous Petite Mommy said...

I'd say go ahead and do it but honestly I dont think I could...well, I know I couldnt...

6:39 AM

Blogger bubandpie said...

I remember when my parents would go on vacation when I was just little. My grandparents would come stay with us for the week, and we thoroughly enjoyed it - special treats, fun with the grandparents, and looking forward to presents when our parents came home. But I also remember how hard it was. I was perfectly happy, but it felt like I was walking around with an arm missing, constantly aware of that longing for my mommy. (It's a lot like being in love, really, that feeling you have for your mommy when you're a very small girl.)

A week is a long time to a 2-and-a-half-year-old. Maybe you could do Italy next year?

7:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GO! You must go... she will be fine, and loved by the grandparents. It will be like a second honeymoon...oh wait, you're not married yet! Well maybe, you can elope while you are there... how romantic!

7:59 AM

Blogger sunshine scribe said...

Oh this is so hard. I am a big chicken about leaving my son so I can understand your hesititation but what a FABULOUS trip that sounds like. And with 2 sets of grandparents and the world's greatest nanny, you know that she'll be okay. My husband travels for 2-3 weeks at a time and our guy always showers him with lovin when he gets home. Have a great trip ... I hope you get to go :)

8:05 AM

Blogger metro mama said...

Sounds like a great opportunity. Another week probably won't make a difference to her--it will be harder on you.

Could you take her along?

8:10 AM

Anonymous GirlyGirl said...

You must go. The best gift you can give your children is a wonderful,loving relationship with their father. Too often mothers sacrifice time with their man due to guilt over their children. I always ask myself "is this going to matter in a year or five??" As long as your daughter is surrounded by people who adore her she will be fine!!

8:25 AM

Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

We left Tacy for almost two weeks when she was two years old (our cruise from Athens to Istanbul). Absolutely, we missed her. But we were (mostly) too captivated by our surroundings to dwell on missing her.

One suggestion is to scope out Internet cafes in the area where you'll be so that you can correspond with Nanny Mimi and the in-laws about what The Dictator is doing each day. It will GREATLY ease your mind, as it did for us.

Obviously, I say go for it.

9:02 AM

Anonymous Melissa said...

I'll be leaving my son (same age as your daughter) with my mom for 11 days when I go to Prague this month. Sure, it's hard, but you need a break too and to be able to spend some adult time w/ your fiancee. Your little girl will be fine! Have fun! Sleep in, stay out late!

10:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It does sound completely lovely and Rowan will be in good hands, but if you are going to fret the whole time and not enjoy the extra week then it won't be worth the stress. (especially if you freak out the other vacationers and the fiance) BTW - it's Provence, not Provance.

10:12 AM


You are fortunate to have grandparents to help out. You should go on your trip
knowing your daughter is home, happy and well taken care of.
I find it harder to leave my daughters as they get older. I guess because I spend most of my time away thinking about how much they would enjoy this and love that...

11:05 AM

Blogger Maddie's Mom said...

Tough one!

Its sounds as though she will be very well taken care of by family (and likely spoiled more than even you!) you should go for it!

Its so important for the Dad and the Mom to have some time together...WINK WINK You know what I mean??

We were in South of France last year-Cannes, Nice and Monaco and had the trip of a lifetime! C'est etait formidable et tres romantique! This was while I was pregnant so I missed out on the wine and champagne but made up for it with shopping.

With Madeleine at 5 months stage it would hard for ME to leave her now-unless it was with my parents. Actually she and I are taking off with my Mommy girlfriend (from prenatal class) and her 5 month old for a week in Grand Cayman...wont be the kind of vactation that we are used to (dancing on the bar until dawn at Club Med)but we are really excited! Would be nice to have the DADs with us but somebody has to work...

1:13 PM

Anonymous chelle said...

I can only imagine how it would feel to leave my child that long (lol I have yet to have that opportunity!!)

I would say go for it. You know that no one else besides yourself, will be perfect for you sweetie however your parents and your in-laws are a close second.

You can call, or take a laptop and set up a webcam. Think of it as a vacation for your daughter too!

You have a chance to see the world like most people cannot. DO IT!

2:03 PM

Blogger Ali said...

blogger was such a bitch last night!

take the trip.
i had the same anxiety leaving emily (my #1). now that i have three kids, i'm kicking myself for not taking advantage when there was just one child to leave at home.
she'll be fine.

2:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go! Italy is absolutely fabulous and you have everything in place to make sure she is well taken care of.

2:32 PM

Blogger Gale said...


4:20 PM

Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

If the missing is going to interfere with the enjoyment, then going is maybe not the best idea. But if you can handle being away (knowing that she's having a great time herself, with Nanny and grandparents), then go for it.

(She can't go with? Part of the trip? Would that help?)

I'll be leaving WonderBaby for three days when I go to BlogHer. Don't know how that's going to be. We'll see.

6:27 PM

Blogger hautemama said...

Go for it!! Ohhh maybe you can make a sibling for the dictator in Italy!

7:17 PM

Blogger Food Mum said...

Two weeks is a long time - but I'm sure she'll cope, it's more a decision about if you'll enjoy it or not. If you will be too stressed worrying, save up again and go another time taking her with you - Italy is pretty child-friendly.
Hard decision to make though.

10:37 PM

Blogger Blog-o-licious said...

TWO will most likely regret NOT going. You are very fortunate you have the help you do. I'm on vacation right now and think about my cats being cared for by someone one else. Yes I know it's not the same, but I still love them and miss them and hope they are ok. And then I'll put up with their, "you've been gone for a week shit" when I return. It all works out! Go, get some shoes, have a gelato, see Italy, it's worth it

3:57 AM

Blogger Mega Mom said...

I'm going to live through you and say GO. I've never left for more than 3 days and that was only once, but I think I'm a martyr sometimes and I should just go. Don't be a martyr. You love your daughter. Enjoy!

PS--no one will take her when she is a bratty 3 or 4 year old and has a snotty nosed brother :))) Just kidding!

5:51 AM

Anonymous Karla said...

I'd do it. Two weeks is only two weeks when you think of the lifetime you have. If you don't, you'll regret it.

By the way, I did dump my blogger boyfriend for wordpress. Mr. Blogger and I are no more.

11:19 AM

Anonymous Nancy said...

Will you have internet access at all if you go? Even if it's just a stint in an internet cafe, you could have the grandparents record a video/audio clip of the Dictator (Odeo is great for the audio, there's probably ways to get video as well) for you to get your fix.

If you have a laptop with a camera and so do the grandparents, you could also try a live video chat. We do that to keep in touch with my parents and they love to see my girls "in realtime."

I know it's a tough decision -- I hope some of this advice might help if you are leaning toward going. You could get your baby fix and still hit Prada!

2:38 PM

Blogger SherilynWilms said...

I recently took a six month old to Honduras and a few months before that took the STAIRS up the Eiffel Tower at 22 weeks pregnant - in 32C heat wearing I say take her along - travelling with an infant or pregnant is amazing, lots of work, but what part of motherhood isn't lots of work? It is totally worth it - I figure the earlier they start travelling the easier it is.
ps- loved your article in Chatelaine - I never read that magazine but we get it free and usually I just recycle it - you are right, it's actually pretty good. I also had a scheduled C but only my husband and OB/GYN knows - I didn't have the guts to admit it to all the granola-eating anti-epidurals out there I was planning it. I had a horrible recovery and found it very painful and have lots of days I regret it though - but I also still have full bladder control and I think that is priceless!

6:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say go. I remember being very little and quite excited when mommy and daddy went away. My mother always said she cried and I didn't.

11:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could never do it. When I was in kindergarten and my parents went to the Bahamas, I remember feeling soooo SAD. However, I mostly remember the first day they were gone and have no recollection of how long they were really gone. However, as a mom who still puts her just turned 3 year old to bed, forehead to forehead.. I know he couldn't handle it. I had to be away for 2 days after an emergency C Section & he lost it. He was looking in every room for me, non stop, by the 2nd day. I made them let me leave a day early. I say you don't go for so long. Your daughter will think you died, but without the understanding of what death is. I think they are changing so fast and learning so much at 2, girls especially, that 2 weeks would be very stressful on her. This is probably not very helpful, but I know I couldn't do it.

6:43 PM


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