Monday, July 25, 2011

Separation Anxiety

My mom warned me that around 7 months, Seth may develop a bit of separation anxiety.  At that point he would basically go to anybody and didn't even look back when I dropped him off at our church creche (nursery).  The creche volunteers always gushed with compliments about how content and happy Seth was when I would come to pick him up.

I was pleased that he was so sociable and that I was able to attend church and not worry about him being upset, but a small part of me wished that he missed me a little wee bit.  I would mention this to my friends on occasion, and they would exhort me to be thankful that he was so easy going.

At 11 months, he even went easily to the nursery of my parents church back in Houston when we came to visit though I'm sure having Liddy in his class helped.  When I went to pick him up, he was leaning against the nursery workers knee as she rocked another baby boy who had been crying since his mom dropped him off.  Seth wasn't even joining in with a sympathy cry.  He just kept on happily eating the cheerios she was feeding him.  I thought surely we had missed the separation anxiety phase altogether. Haha. Hahahah. Hahahahahahaa.

Once he hit 12 months, the proverbial switch was flipped.   We had started moving him from the bottle to the sippy cup, and bam - he wouldn't for the life of him stay in the creche any longer without getting totally upset.  At first I chalked it up to missing the bottle and needing the extra comfort of mom to cope with his rapidly changing world of whole milk and sippy cups, but it's now been a month and a half, Seth has successfully moved to the sippy cup, but still will not stay in the creche without Taylor or me.  And maybe we created this monster a bit ourselves because besides going to the creche, we typically used only one sitter for Seth, the lovely Edinburgh Uni graduate Heather, and unfortunately she moved back to the States July 6th.

This month we have a really big conference for work, and so, a sitter is necessary for Seth on occasion.  My mom had planned on coming for 3 weeks in July, so I didn't really worry about leaving Seth because I knew he'd do well with her.   Due to the unfortunate merger between United Airlines and Continental,  her flight got cancelled about 4 days before she was to arrive.   Bummer on multiple levels.

This has majorly limited my involvement with our team for the conference, but I try to tote Seth along as much as possible and go to the night stuff while Taylor is home and able to watch Seth.  But we had one conflict that merited a babysitter.  I was to teach a seminar for the conference that overlapped with Taylor's duty as team leader.  We had to find a sitter.  My gracious friend, Zoha, offered to watch him for us, and I felt so relieved that the Lord provided someone so quickly.  My seminar was on a Monday and the Sunday before at creche, Seth cried inconsolably until one of us went back in there with him.  I didn't want to subject Zoha to the inevitable misery that would most likely happen the next day when I left.  I started wracking my brain for alternatives.  We realized that Taylor didn't have to actually stay for my seminar, so we would only need help for an hour.  Immediately, my friend Sarah came to mind.  She has watched Seth in the past for me (before the separation anxiety started), and since she lives in our family housing complex, Seth sees her on a very regular basis, and he LOVES playing with her kids and husband.  I knew he'd be distracted by them and hoped he wouldn't be upset that I wasn't there too.  Sarah heartily agreed to watch him for us.

An hour before my seminar was to start, I dropped him off with a bag full of tricks: his favorite toys, books, sippy cup of milk, craisins, and not one paci, but two (he's quirky like that).   Sarah's husband, Andrej, met me at the door and Seth immediately lunged for him.  Off to a great start.  Andrej happily took him off my hands, and I told Sarah what was in the bag.  The second Seth saw 3 year old Hannah down the hall, he wiggled out of Andrej's arms and toddled down the hall as fast as his short little legs could carry him - without even a glance in my direction I should add!  The second he reached the threshold of the kids' room, he thrust both arms up in air pointing towards the sky like he was thanking the Lord he was there and then joined the fray.  Sarah smiled at me and assured me he'd be OK.  I took that opportunity to sneak out before Seth realized I wasn't staying too.


My seminar went off without a hitch, and by the end of it, I had no urgent texts or missed phone calls from Sarah.  Praise the Lord!

Now, I did come to find out that after Jason left (he is another of our neighbors that Seth loves), Seth burst into tears until Taylor picked him up, but Sarah is such a champ, she didn't even complain about it. I am so thankful for faithful friends like Zoha and Sarah!

And I have to report that thanks to the perseverance of our pastor's wife, Sally, who was on creche duty yesterday, Seth managed to stay in there the whole time with minimal tears.  Progess!


zoha said...

You are welcome, I do love Seth, and I wish I could help you. :)

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