Thursday, April 28, 2005

Separation Anxiety

Yes, it's hit. We hoped we would be able to avoid it and that Rachel had just made the adjustment to being in the care of others without having to go through separation anxiety. She's had a tough time the last 3 or 4 times she's been in the church nursery, but she's always done pretty well at daycare, so we thought it might be that she doesn't like having to be away from us on the weekends when she already has to be away from us on weekdays. Either that, or that the people at the church nursery were somewhat strangers to her since they rotate and she doesn't see them nearly as often as the caregivers at her daycare.

Well, 3 out of 5 days this week, Rachel has cried as we've been leaving daycare or as we've still been in the room there with her but are about to go. She's also very aware of when I walk out of the room at home. I'll let her know that I'm going to another room and will be right back, and usually she's fine, although she does hate it when I'm in the kitchen and she's on the other side of the baby gate, looking at me.

It's heartbreaking to see her little face crumple and to have her cuddle up and cling against you when you have to walk out the door momentarily. Fortunately the caregivers at her daycare are compassionate people. One of them, Marian, saw it start to happen yesterday and came right over, holding out her hands so she could take Rachel, hold her and comfort her while we said goodbye. I know they've seen this before and have helped other children through it, but it sure stinks when it's your child.

It's still our hope that I'll be able to be home with Rachel full-time somehow. If that were happening now, she'd probably have some anxiety when we left her occasionally for church or to go out for an evening, but at least it wouldn't be so frequent and add to the guilt of having her in daycare to begin with.

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