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During my first drive home and back, I had recurring visions of being stopped for speeding and explaining that my wife (!) and baby (!!) were in a hospital in Connecticut and I had to get back to them as soon as I could. How much better an excuse than that could I have, after all, to drive almost as fast as the wieners from New York and Massachusetts who always whiz by in the left lane?

This time, in my imagination -- especially on that stretch of I-91 where all the cars that look like they have radar detectors suddenly merge right -- the officer was going to ask why I thought I had to go so allfired fast, and I was going to have to explain that I was carrying 10 days worth of frozen breast milk in a collapsible ice chest, and had to get home before it thawed. "You don't really want to know," the conversation was going to begin, and then it was going to get worse.

Nothing of the sort, of course. One of the NICU nurses gave me three bags of ice to add to the coldpacks, I turned the heat in the car as low as my toes could stand, and every bottle was solider than a sub-zero Dove Bar at the other end. (And that's after stopping for about 15 minutes after I got home to gaze in awe at the two face cords of UPS boxes in the garage. my gratitude has no words, only sniffles)

After a short shopping trip, Charlie now has diapers, wipes and baby-wash at home. Tomorrow I figure out how to strap the co-sleeper to our bed, launder all of his clothes that I can find, and sit down for a long heart-to-heart with the cats about "prey" and "not-prey".