I am a fairly breezy woman in her thirties. Sure, I have my OCD issues pertaining to housekeeping and oral hygiene, but on the whole I'm a pretty laid back person. Move to China for three years? Sure, why not. Italian or Japanese for dinner tonight? I don't care-- you decide. I'd much rather have someone else in the driver's seat so I can sit back, relax, and make smartass comments along the way.
I am trying very hard not to be the kind of Mom who labels her child as anyone or anything, especially at only four and a half months, but I will say this: my baby loves her Momma. A lot. She loves her Momma so much that in the past two weeks I've been paged at the gym to get my inconsolable child seven times. Seven times. Nothing is wrong, other than she wants me. What I'm saying is that, without labeling her, so far I don't think my Anna inherited my breeziness.
According to the books (that I swear I'm going to stop reading), Anna is very early for this type of separation anxiety. Part of me chalks it up to her superior intelligence and overall propensity for achievement, but another part of me, the part of me that has another eight pounds of baby weight to lose, is getting pretty frustrated. 'I always come back,' I tell my baby's tear stained face when I see her, and do my best not to cry in front of the child care staff as we leave.
I've talked to many women in their thirties about this issue. The responses I've gotten have ranged from 'I never dealt with that' to 'there's nothing you can do-- they grow out of it eventually', with a smattering of advice regarding lovies and binkies along the way. Nothing has worked yet.
Then, this morning, while I watch Anna play with L's fingers while he held her on the couch, I remembered that there have been a few times when Anna has cried in the car and I've just reached over and held her hand. Like this:
And it worked to comfort her. So tomorrow, instead of giving Anna the blanket I've been trying to infuse with my 'scent', I'm just going to tell the girls at childcare that please, if possible, if she's crying, just hold her hand. I can only imagine the funny looks I'll get, but if it works it works, right?
And maybe someone will hold my hand on the way out, too. A woman in her thirties might need a bit of comfort as well, as she learns to let go.