I just left you, howling, at the halte-garderie. This is the sixth day I’ve left you howling. Poor son! Poor mama too. This ain’t easy for me, even if after researching separation anxiety at daycare on the internet yesterday, I tried to remain cheerful and confident and simply left with no prolonging the goodbye this morning.
We are in the midst of the adaptation period of the halte-garderie and you’ve been crying a lot. No one is quite worried about it yet, they all say it’s normal. I’m still feeling confident we will get through it even if it might take a few weeks. I do hope so.
The separation anxiety is seeping out at home too. The night before last I heard you whimpering all night, and yesterday you wanted to be held all afternoon, although by night you were content to play in the pack n play again. You are less smiley these days and yesterday we were having lunch in the park and I dropped something and asked D to hold you for a second, and you started crying! Even though you usually have a big smile for D!
Here is what I think about this, son: See, I think that, even if right now it’s really hard, what I keep telling myself is that you will feel more secure knowing that mama leaves and comes back, more so than if mama never leaves. Does that make sense? I just think that this is really a good exercise for both of us, and I so hope you come to like being at the HG, though at the moment it seems hard to imagine.
I also have to remind myself that separation anxiety is actually a very important step in the development of a healthy child. All healthy children go through it, and it is a positive thing, because it means that there is a bond between baby and parents, and that baby feels secure, and feels insecure when taken out of the context in which he is secure.
And another thing, I know I’m going to miss this horribly in eighteen years, when you go off to college and all I get is a curt “bye” and a perfunctory kiss after much pleading. I’m going to be like, where’s my baby boy who cried for weeks when his mama left him at the HG? Who wanted to be carried in the Ergo all afternoon? Yes, son, mark my words, that will be me in fifteen to eighteen years.
What I find interesting is, that even if you aren’t talking, you really, really seem to understand. For example, it was a three day weekend because of Easter. You were in good spirits all weekend, and then on Monday I said to you “Ok, we’re going back to the HG tomorrow, and mama is going to leave you for 45 minutes and then she is going to come back for you,” and that was the night when you didn’t want to go to sleep and were whimpering all night. (D said I should’ve waited to tell you the next morning, I took her advice for today).
So it seemed like you understand, although mama wishes you understood that she will come back for you.
Another, more funny example of this is last night in the bath. I was singing your song, and right before the chorus, I just kind of added another line, “What does she use?”, without really thinking about it.
You just thought that was the funniest thing you had ever heard.
You just laughed and laughed.
And I did it again, always with the same line: “What does she use?” I would sing the whole song, and you wouldn’t laugh, and then I would slip that line in, and you would have a major giggle fest.
And I would try saying “What does she use?” outside of the song, and you didn’t think it was funny. It was in the song. As if mama had forgotten the next line, and you thought that was so hilarious.
So interesting, son! You are really understanding things! And you know the lyrics to the song! You know when I say something that doesn’t belong in there!
It means we really have to be careful about what we say around you. No more sailor mouth.
And that I have to be aware of explaining things to you. Knowing that you will understand. Explaining what we are doing, explaining that I’m about to clean your face, that I’m almost done. That we are going to the HG.
I always heard people say how fascinating it was to watch their children grow, but I never really grasped their meaning until now.
And I never understood how powerful the feeling is of wanting to do anything to make your baby laugh. That it is the most wonderful sound in the world, and I would stand on my head and make pancakes to reproduce it.
Oh, and as I explained to you last night too, laughter is great stress relief, and I think we both needed that giggle last night.
You have also started clapping, and hot damn if it isn’t the cutest gosh darn thing I’ve ever seen.
Tomorrow you are ten months old.