It used to be worse.
You used to sit and scream, sobbing your heart out in a terrified panic every time I put you down. It was hell. Your little arms would cling to me, your fists pinching my skin as your sought out the permanent boob feed you seemed to need, and your anger was palpable every time I set you down. It got better. We got better together.
Still there are those days. Today was one of those days.
I suppose it’s my fault really, you were all smiles when you woke up, but then I made the mistake of letting you see me slip out of the door when I needed to get some kitchen out of the “big” freezer to defrost for tonight’s fajitas. I’m sorry darling. I know you were frightened when I closed the door behind me and thoughtlessly went to rummage around. I know that minute felt like an endless amount of time in your heart.
When I came back inside, your tear streaked face greeted me and gone was the happy smiley girl who woke up. I’d almost forgotten these days. It’s been a while since we had he last one.
Your little arms reached around my neck and you squeezed. Boy, did you squeeze. I carried you for a time, eventually setting you down to watch your favourite TV program, Sofia the first, which placated you for a time, while I tried to get organised for taking you and those crazy boys out for a fun day. Every so often you would toddle through to the kitchen to check I hadn’t wandered too far again. Just to check. Maybe for a cuddle. Or two.
Eventually we made it out, you cried when I put you in the car, but you got over it quickly because everyone piled in around you. How can you be afraid of being alone when you have those big brothers huh? We made it to the war museum, up into the carrier you went and nestled in tight. One of the blessings of being out is that you forget your separation anxiety, you slip back into being you. It’s beautiful and frustrating to watch you being so confident – beautiful to see you blossoming, frustrating to fear I might not be able to keep you safe. I guess we both have a touch of our old friend, don’t we?
Your tiredness once we returned made it worse. I could t leave the room, but again the paddling pool and those big brothers helped me make a late lunch, and once I was sat outside on my laptop, while you enjoyed the cool water and freedom of the garden, you were fine. You were happy and confident… You could see me, and I you. We were good.
Tiredness caught up with you again though, and as the bumps and knocks became more frequently as that babyish clumsiness got you in its grips, you became more and more clingy. More impatient with my requests to just wait. More panicked that the waiting would last too long. It is always too long when you need that closeness.
Bedtime was the worst, and that is why I’m dat underneath you now. You screamed and cried and wouldn’t even contemplate playing with your toys, the way that has become our norm. No. You were beside yourself… All because I went out of the door in the morning and your irrational fear reared its ugly head.
Darling girl, separation anxiety may be waning for you, it may come it fits and starts, but when it does, know I am here to hold you. To breath you in. To love you.
One day, it will be me who suffers with it more than you. One day too soon.