Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Separation Anxiety is No Fun for Anyone

This is what happens anytime I hand Ruby off to Mr. G.

I wish I were joking.  It's like a switch flips.  And then he hands her back to me, and she's just fine.  Well, usually.  If I leave her for a longer time, like, say, to take a shower, she is in full-on meltdown mode when I get out and it takes me a bit to calm her down.

I thought it was a little early for the separation anxiety to hit, so I brought it up in baby class a couple weeks ago.  Apparently, it's not.  It seems Ruby has figured out that she's not actually a part of me, and that is big time scary for babies.  So when she realizes she's not with me, that's just too overwhelming for her.

I also learned that this is a sign that she has a secure attachment to her primary caregiver.  Which is a good thing.  Apparently I've done a good job getting her to trust me, and teaching her that I will respond to her needs.

But it sucks if you're her dad.  Or her grandma.  Or anybody else who may want to hold her.  And if you're her mommy?  Well, you better not have any plans of doing anything that doesn't involve holding and touching Ruby.  Naps, if taken, are now only taken ON me in the Beco.  If I want to get ready in the morning, I will lay her beside me on the bed, and she rolls to her side so that she can touch my leg the whole time.  And she often stops nursing to look up at me and touch my face.  Oh yeah, and on the changing pad, she must reach out and touch me the entire time.

In a way, it's flattering.  I'm glad my girl loves her mama.  I'm even more glad that she feels safe with me, and that we've created a good attachment.  I'm really glad that she knows I will meet her needs, and that she's never had to just give up on me because she thinks I won't.  I do wish I could shower without hearing a crying baby when I get out.  Or that Mr. G's feelings wouldn't get hurt.  Or that I could be not touched by anyone for more than 5 seconds during the day.

But like all things in parenthood, this too shall pass.  One day she'll be off on her own, and I'll be sad that she doesn't want her mama anymore, I'm sure.

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