Friday, April 20, 2012

Mama's Night Out

After the Mother's Day Out fiasco, we realized that we really don't need a preschool, we just need a babysitter, so we've been cultivating a relationship with the teenage daughters of one of our MOMS Club friends. (Yes, she has four kids: 17, 15, 14 and 3.)

First, Peeper and I went over to their house to play with the little girl and her big sisters, then the big girls came over together and played with Peeper while I cleaned house for our Easter party. During that visit, I made a quick trip to the convenience store to pick up treats for everyone, and give them a little time alone.

At their house, Peeper was apprehensive about me even being in a different room, and when they came over, it took a while before she would go off and play, instead of hanging out in the kitchen, watching me clean.

The older of the girls came over on Wednesday and watched her for about and hour and a half, while Shrike and I went out to dinner, and then she came back this evening so I could go to MOMS Night Out.

Both times, she spent more time fretting and worrying and crying that "I am going to miss you!" and asking "You're gonna come back?" than the amount of time we were actually gone!

This is not at all how she was before MDO. Granted, she'd not stayed with anyone other than family or MOMS Club friends that she knows very well, so of course she would have been more comfortable with them, but this is just very different.

That experience was a real blow to her self-confidence about being away from us, and she now has a separation anxiety that we've not seen since we started leaving her, when she was a little more than a year old.

Even when we did have a rough good-bye, the tears and upset didn't start until it was actually time to leave, but now, as soon as she gets that it's going to happen, it starts and it just doesn't stop.

I asked her today if next time, she'd rather I wait until the last minute to tell her that the sitter is coming and we're leaving, so she doesn't have to worry for so long, and she said that she would. I thought that might be kind of the chickenshit way out, versus preparing her, but if that's what she'd prefer, then that's what we'll do. Anything has to be better than five hours and "I'm going to miss you!"

The first couple of times the sitter(s) came, she got okay pretty much as soon as I left, but tonight it took a little longer to calm her down, and then she melted down in the bathtub for a while.

The calming trick (and the reason for the bath - which I had totally anticipated) was cookie decorating.

I happened to spot a package of frozen break-and-bake sugar cookies in the freezer this evening, so I whipped up some icing, and then baked the cookies right before I left, and let the sitter help Peeper to ice and sprinkle them.

Peeper may not be so thrilled about us leaving, but I think this sitter is a keeper.

Oh yeah, me. I was able to stay at MNO until about 10 pm before Peeper started asking when I was coming home, and I had a great time.

1 comment:

  1. My LO is the same. She had very strong separation anxiety as an infant and now is going through almost depression when I have to take her to the sitter's because she misses me all day. It is hard on both of us.


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