Seven months to the day, and she just made an alarming discovery. We have a little ritual a few nights a week that goes like this: She sits in the middle of the bed with […]
Seven months to the day, and she just made an alarming discovery. We have a little ritual a few nights a week that goes like this: She sits in the middle of the bed with some toys, and I get changed for a fitness class I teach and run through my class plan, making faces at her the whole time. My little brainiac has apparently been taken careful notes about this whole bed/tank top/jumping around arrangement, and last night, she leapt straight to the crux of the issue—mama’s leaving. And her reaction was pretty tragic.
Her solution was to cry and reach for me and then snuggle me tight and rub her little face against me when I picked her up. When I handed her off to her dad, well, she was pretty bummed out. I tried to be breezy about it—a squeeze and smooch and, “Later gator, be good for daddy!” before I ran out—but oof. I came home 90 minutes later to a howling baby and her stoic daddy. The second he handed her over, peace fell over our house. My husband gave me a look and ran through the play-by-play as I nursed our understandably exhausted baby girl quickly to sleep.
“She screamed the entire time. I can’t even tell you what that’s like.”
“No way, the whole time? Did you try feeding her?”
“Yeah. She got all excited about that and stopped screaming while she ate. Then she started again like five minutes later. And didn’t stop. Until now.”
Then he went to bed, poor guy.
She’s always been a mama’s girl, but she’s really ramping it up lately. At her 6-month check up a few weeks ago, the doctor asked about separation anxiety, so it looks like we’re right on track for this stressful little milestone. And I guess the only way out is through? Gulp.
I think the real problem is the timeframe. My husband calls that 6-8 p.m. stretch the witching hour, and he’s not wrong. We have a crazy evening schedule during the week with no regular dinner routine from night to night. We’re all over the map, and between karate and kickboxing and sometimes soccer, one parent ends up pulling the dinner/bath/bedtime shift while the other is gone. When it’s the mom show, I can put the baby in the baby carrier and she’s mostly good to go. It doesn’t necessarily go as smoothly for my husband.
I jumped online to refresh my memory about this charming little stage, and apparently separation anxiety really peaks between 10 and 18 months. So, you know, that’s something to look forward to, I guess. Anyway, I’m teaching again tonight, so keep your fingers crossed for us.