The rare night when George and I go out alone often overflows with conversation about Claire. Funny how that happens. We say we need a break from her, when we really can't get enough.
It's usually warranted for us to start off an evening with a back and forth about our daughter. Upon our exit, Claire acts as if we are abandoning her to a slow, torturous death at the hands of an interloper, who is clearly more fit for the role of Medea than care of a defenseless, 18-month-old child.
Or at least, this is how Claire seems to see it. She almost sells me on this angle, too. Hence the need for conversation that helps me shake off the mommy guilt of separation from her:
"Claire's certainly got a flair for drama from me," George (my actor husband) says. "I could hear her crying a thousand yards away from the door."
"Did you see the look on her face?" I say. "I didn't know such a tiny mouth could open that wide."
"Kind of like the Greek tragedy mask," George says, while getting on his smart phone..."Was it like this?" he says.
"No, the sides of her mouth went in more. I don't know how she contorts her little face like that," I say.
"How about this?" George replies.
"Even more melodrama," I say. George counters with: "This?"
"That's it!" I say, as we both lean in over the phone and nod.
If we sound flip about our daughter's pain, it's because we know that she will look more akin to the comedy side of the mask, once she shakes it off:
Or maybe that's what we choose to believe, since we really do need a break.