Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Heart beats

But just in case you were disappointed not to get a TLM update, I've got one of those for you too...

This morning I was ready to ring in and tell the daycare folks to forget about it, we weren't coming back ever, because if TLM won't let her own beloved daddy bathe her and cries tragically whenever I go to the toilet then there's no chance that she'll allow me to drop her off at daycare with a bunch of relative strangers for the morning.

Then I re-read a section in Robin Barker's The Mighty Toddler about separation anxiety, in which she advises parents not to let this developmental phase stop them from leaving their kids with a trusted caregiver, and my resolved hardened. So before that same resolve melted again like an ice cream on a hot day, we set off to daycare. Along the way I repeated to TLM what we'd be doing. The first time, she said "No no no". The next few times, she quietly clung to Cheeky Monkey and - I imagine - tried not to breathe in the cigarette fumes drifting from the hospital workers having smoko on the footpath.

And you know what? It didn't go that badly after all. TLM screamed hard when I started to leave, so hard it reminded me of that time we accidentally snipped off the tip of her finger while attempting to clip her nails. She screamed while I waved goodbye, got my coat, left the building, closed the gate behind me and walked down the driveway.

The caregiver had promised to call me in ten minutes, but it felt like at least half an hour had passed since I'd left the daycare and walked around the block three times with mobile phone firmly in my grip. She called and told me that TLM had in fact quietened down and was now playing. But my heart rate probably didn't drop to normal for at least another hour. And my neck and shoulders are still as tight as the proverbial coiled spring.

I went back at midday, after TLM had woken up from a not-usual nap in her buggy (that's what happens when separation anxiety strikes at 4am and she refuses to go back to sleep). I was so proud of how well she'd done so I put a little butterfly sticker on her otherwise unadorned lunchbox, and gave her the rest of the packet to play with. She done good.


Jon said...

This sounds more like it's about attention than fear of being without mommy. The fact that when you came back and she was paying happily with other kids should ease your mind

David said...

I love the blog that you have. I was wondering if you would link my blog to yours and in return I would do the same for your blog. If you want to, my site name is American Legends and the URL is:


If you want to do this just go to my blog and in one of the comments just write your blog name and the URL and I will add it to my site.


Kazzer said...

You should get a sticker too for bravery and persistence.

Michael C said...

The day we took the twins to preschool for the very first time was very hard on me. Probably harder than it was for them.

Leo said...

Wahoo for TLM! And you too of course. May it long continue and give you loads of free time.

Violet said...

jon: maybe but it sure sounds like fear...

david: are you a spammer? Cos I think you sound like a spammer.

kazzer: This morning went really well. She stopped screaming the moment I left the premises. But I didn't stop feeling worried until the daycare called me to tell me that.

michael c: I can't speak for TLM, but it's been hard for me alright.

leo: yeah, now I can actually start to plan ahead what I'm going to do! Today I got my first haircut since before Xmas!