Over the past 3 years (almost, gasp!) Oscar had had his bouts of separation anxiety. They mostly occurred prior to his second birthday and were usually quelled with equal parts blanket and paci. However, since we started limiting Oscar’s pacifier use to just bedtime, he no longer wants to bring his blanket anywhere. It’s like they belong together, never to be separated.
And now we are having a hard time again.
I was super excited to be cleared for exercise after recovering from Calvin’s birth. The first few times I left Oscar in the gym nursery were fine, no problem. But in the past couple weeks, any time I tell him we are going somewhere with a nursery (be it the gym or church) he tells me that he just wants to stay home and sleep and that he’s not gonna go ANYWHERE, meanwhile disintegrating into a pile of tears and anguish.
This is especially awesome because once we get to said destination he really enjoys it. That is after screaming COME BAAAACK at the top of his lungs until I am out of earshot. And throw in the occasional, I missed you at exercise, to twist the knife. Of course this usually results in candy corn and extra trips to the park so I can see why he does it.
I sought the wisdom of Facebook and my friends all had some really great advice. Some of it I have tried, some of it is still on deck. One suggestion was to tell Oscar that I will always come back to get him. Of course it seems intuitive, but I don’t know that I was really spelling it out. This morning I found a cute little song online and we watched it before we left. It calmed him down enough to get in the van, but he cried again when I dropped him off. I will say that the caregiver said he only cried for like 2 minutes and played the whole time thereafter. But it’s those 2 minutes that I can HEAR and it kills me.
So we are dealing with our old “friend” Separation Anxiety day by day. I have considered asking Oscar if he wants to bring his blanket again, but honestly I love that it stays at home in his bed (and clean) instead of dragging all over the place.