At 18 months, it's not unusual for toddlers to go through a phase of separation anxiety. And for Sophie it was no different. But the intensity of it heightened last week when she was ill, was growing two new teeth and had to adjust to her new child care centre. That can be a lot for a little kiddo to handle!
Sophie used to be such a Daddy's girl and would call out to Daddy in her sweetest voice that Mummy here often got jealous. But lately she just wants no one but Mummy! Of course it can be endearing but what this also means is that she's so worried when she knows I'm not around. Like last Sunday when we left her at Grandma's place. She was pointing at the door and looking for Mama. My cheeky niece even tricked her that I had returned for her when it was really Sophie's aunt who came back. And to express her dashed hopes, she bawled her eyes out! It was only I came back that she was more relaxed and would play with everyone and resumed her chirpy self.
Now Sophie only wants Mummy to put her to bed and she'll happily bid Daddy bye bye. This morning she wouldn't even want to drink her milk until she see me.
Daddy lending a hand to bathe Sophie
I hope she grows out of this phase soon. But nevertheless I've been reassuring her every time I'm out of her sight that I'll return. So what helps is telling her where I'm going, eg.going to the bathroom, to the kitchen, going to work and promise her that I'll come back and when I see her again, I'll tell her, "see mummy promise to be back and I'm back now."
So far this week she's much better except when it's time to go to school in the mornings. I spoke to soon about no tearful goodbyes last week and now every morning she'll be crying, whining and kicking a fuss when I leave her at the child care. But I'll remind myself to remain calm and explain to her that after work I'll come back for her. Tears or no tears, it's out the door I go, otherwise she'll learn that she can hold her hostage with her tears. Anyway the teachers tell me that after a while she'll stop and will be okay in the company of her friends. But it's quite a different story in the evenings when I'm there to pick her. She'll be so engrossed in her coloring (a typical after school activity) that the teachers have to hurry her along to go home.
Hair all wet after her evening nap in the car
But for every stage that Sophie has progressed from I thank God that she remains a healthy and cheerful baby!