What has happened to my delightful little girl? It has been really stressful around here the last couple of weeks. She. has. LOST. IT. Almost all the time. The Weebles positively refuses to let me out of her sight at all times. She wakes up over and over again at night hysterical that I'm not there. We will go over to my parents' house to visit and she'll be having a great time with her Papa only to realize I'm not within sight and freak out. She will then insist I carry her until we get back home lest I disappear again.
Andrew and I traced the problems back to when I was working a few extra hours over Christmas. I usually work two mornings a week while my mom comes over to stay with the kids. Over Christmas I picked up one extra afternoon shift and also worked Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. Andrew was here all of those extra times to be with the kids. It didn't seem like a ton of time to me, but then again I'm not 2 years old. She got so she wouldn't want me to leave but she didn't bring out the full blown tantrums, yet.
The week before Christmas she started having a really difficult time going to sleep at night. She claimed there were dragons in her window and she was scared. It was heartbreaking to see her so upset. Even if she was in my arms she would be scared. But, once she finally did fall asleep she would sleep through the night and be her usual happy self by morning.
Then of course it was the holidays and we were all over the place. Visiting virtually everyone in the family and there were presents presents presents for about four straight days. It was a lot of excitement and really too much to process for a small child. By the time we got home she was clearly over stimulated. Unfortunately there was no time for a break because the Peanut's birthday rolled around a week later and all the relatives were back with more PRESENTS of course.
I made the idiot decision to start her in preschool three mornings a week right after New Year's. It seemed like a good time.. it would give her something new to be excited about once the thrill of Christmas was gone I thought.
Things are much MUCH worse now. The first day of preschool I had to pick her up early because she was inconsolable. The second day they said she did much better. Drop off went okay but she got upset when she realized I was gone. She was back to normal by pick up time. Wednesday was heart breaking for me. She clung to me for at least an hour as I tried to get her interested in painting, books, the fish tank, dress up.. anything. Finally I had to go and I had no choice but to hand her over screaming and begging for me to come back. I must've cried for a solid hour. The school called me to let me know she cheered right up after I left, so I felt some better. There was a similar melt down Tuesday night when I left to go to a sewing class.
This just sucks. I love my little girl and my instincts say to let her cling to me as much as she needs to. This is a phase and she is doing what she needs to do to feel okay about all her newfound independence. The problem is: I can't always be with her. I work.. admittedly very little but still I have to leave sometimes. Her brother still needs to nurse at night so I can't very easily sleep with her all the time even though I am happy to when I can. I just enrolled in my sewing class and I would really like to be able to have that time for me each week. And then of course there is the issue of her preschool. I had such high hopes for that. I hoped she would LOVE it and be so excited to go and play with her new little friends. I'm not the mom that subscribes to the "oh they'll get over it eventually" school of thought on separation anxiety. I know anxiety all too well and there is no way a two year old has the coping skills to work through that on their own. Hopefully she will one day, but it isn't reasonable to expect her to now. So what to do? I hate to give up on it so easily. We are going to try letting Andrew do drop off tomorrow to see if that is an easier transition for her. I am nervous. I feel like I've brought on all this unnecessary emotional upheaval for my little girl by making the wrong decisions. Bleh. Better go to bed, it will surely be another long night.
From Us To You
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