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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Turning A Corner

I've been meaning to do a post about Lucas. And separation anxiety. And being attached to me.

Lucas is around the age where separation anxiety can kick in for a kid. Combine that with the fact that we've been through some changes recently with the move to SC and not living at Grandma's house in MD anymore and Joe returning from deployment.

I have been the only 'constant' in his short life so far, so it would only make sense for him to be attached to me.

About a month after we moved here we picked Joe's mom up at the airport (curbside). I got out to greet her, opened the trunk to put her suitcase in, and heard Lucas sobbing. For some reason he though I was leaving and was so upset. He kept saying he wanted me to sit back down.

Then MOPS started. He clung to my hand and started crying and didn't want me to leave the room. 2 weeks later I explained we were going to MOPS again and he would go in the room with the kids and I would go in the room with the Mommies. He stated he did NOT want to go to MOPS. He did NOT want to be in with the kids. "I want to go in your room with the mommies." (I went through the same thing with Kayla and MOPS as well. She would cry as we just started walking down the hallway. The 3rd time at MOPS there were no tears.) When I picked him up I asked if he had a fun time playing with the kids and he said, "Yes and I not sad. I didn't cry!" (yay!)

I recently enrolled him in a Rolly Pollies pre-school type class where he goes 2x a week for 3.5 hrs. Thankfully this has been a smooth transition; he absolutely loves it and says good bye to me each time without any problems of me leaving. Which is a good thing because those tears are so hard to walk away from!

Overall he's adjusted to being back with Joe just fine. He's fine playing with him and showing affection towards him etc. However, when it came to doing anything ... he wanted me. He wanted me to get his drinks, or snacks, or take him to the bathroom, or get him in and out of his car seat, or buckle and unbuckle him. He would become upset if Joe tried to do those things and start crying saying he wanted mommy to do it.

Bedtime was something else. We read to the kids together and then split up with Joe putting Kayla to bed and me putting Lucas to bed. I've been putting Lucas to bed for 2.5 yrs so of course that was what he was used to. When Joe tried putting him to bed he would get so sad and cry and cry those big crocodile tears saying he wanted mommy. I was away for 2 weekends and he was perfectly fine letting Joe put him to bed those nights.

I would tell Lucas "but daddy loves you too" and he would respond "no mommy loves me" or "daddy loves Kayla." I would tell him "but daddy wants to put you to bed" and his reply would be "no I want mommy put me to bed" or "daddy wants Kayla."

About 3 wks ago I was out for a Mom's Night Out and wasn't back for bedtime. Again he was perfectly fine with Joe putting him to bed. And every single night since then when we ask him "who is putting you to bed tonight?' He has responded "daddy!" Wow ...where did that come from? All of a sudden he wants Joe to put him to bed (hey wait a min, what happened to his love for his mommy?! - ha!)

I'm hesitant to say these behaviors are due to Joe's deployment and being gone for 1.5 yrs. It could definitely be a factor, but I know kids go through separation anxiety at this stage; and kids go through stages where they prefer one parent over the other. At times it was getting a little exhausting when he wouldn't let Joe do anything for him ... so happy we are turning that corner.

Then very early this morning he came downstairs crying. I heard this little voice "I want mommy" over and over as he made his way downstairs. Awww ... this little boy still does love/want/need his mommy. 

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Anonymous said...

awww it just melts your heart!! that was a fun post and by the way, he will always want his mommy.. :) love grandma/ Mom

Mom24 said...

Awww, that's so sweet. You're so smart, you never know what could be causing it, my kids would behave similarly and Mark's been here everyday. Glad he's turning corners regardless. I admire you guys so much, you just keep on moving forward and it seems like you're doing great.

Mary said...

Oh, that's so sweet and sad at the same time. He'll grow out of this stage way too fast :(

RK said...

I'm so glad Lucas is enjoying his daddy more, for you and for Lucas. :o)

This is really interesting because Kinlee has been doing this same thing in public situations. She has really hit this phase where she does NOT want to go to any childcare situation away from me, like MOPS or Sunday school or even playing with friends at someone's house. She will say "No church! No friends!" as we pull up to the church where I've been going to morning Bible study. She used to kind of fuss and then calm down once I was gone, but lately she's been staying upset the whole time. I don't know what's up. This is all new since Braska didn't do this phase. I've been brainstorming how to help her, but maybe it is "just" a phase.

Nancy M. said...

I know how that feels. You want them to be happy without you, but you still want them to want you. If that makes any sense, lol! My 3 year old is still clingy to me, but loves his daddy more now.

Christina said...

Both of my kids went through this too, and my husband is not in the military. My son would cry just because he wanted me to get him in or out of the car. I think it's a stage...I know how frustrating it can be but he'll grow out of it!