So, it’s naptime. My own Thing #2 is out in the backyard blissfully stomping in puddles, Pudding Pop is crawling around delighted that there is no one he needs to share toys with, and everyone else is asleep.
Oh, except for New Kid, who went home about a half hour ago.
Poor New Kid. My ears are still ringing from the epic meltdown at drop off time this morning. My feet hurt from not sitting down once, all day. My “mindful eating” plan is kind of a mess on the days when he’s here, because as soon as I sit and try to eat lunch, he bursts into tears and tries to climb into my lap, so I inhaled my food without chewing and now feel downright snacky, even though I know I have had enough to eat.
Ah, New Kid. You are my challenge.
He’s a sweet kid, which is a good thing. I think once he gets over the separation anxiety and learns how to socialize with the other kids he will be a delightful addition to our tribe. But in the meantime, man oh man. Thank god for the internet and its wisdom, is all I have to say.
New Kid will be three next month. Since infancy, he has been at home – first with both his parents during mat leave, then with his dad. He has never been in care. He has not taken part in anything that required him to be away from his dad. And his older brother is so much older (seven years) that learning how to share and interact with small persons his own age has just never come up.
He’s trying, I think. I’m trying. His mom is great, very supportive of everything I’m suggesting and how I’m approaching his anxieties, and totally on board with the idea that this too shall pass – and her son will be a happier & more well-rounded kid because of it.
His dad? is a hot mess. The poor thing.
Drop off this morning was 8:45. Dad made it all the way to 9:30 before he called. “Is he alright? Do you need me to come pick him up? No, don’t put him down for a nap, he needs to be cuddled to sleep. He’s not sleeping because of this. He’s upset. I don’t know if we’re doing the right thing.” Poor dad, he’s taking this harder than New Kid.
Had a long chat with mom at pickup time. Showed her some resources I found online for dealing with separation anxiety in older kids. Suggested that they talk about coming here as a very matter-of-fact, no big deal kind of thing. Found out this morning dad followed them out to the car, hangdog expression, telling the poor little man with both words & body language that he is right to be afraid, that possibly I eat small children and certainly I lock them up in the basement and never let them see their parents again.
Mom is in agreement with the plan. She’s going to spend the weekend trying to get dad to buy in. And we start again on Tuesday.
I know some of you have experience with separation anxiety in older kids (and I don’t think, by the way, that he has it to an extreme degree – I just think he’s going through a very normal reaction to a big transition). Any suggestions are welcomed. Yes, I am asking the internet for assvice. Hit me with your best shot.
I am fully aware that I am blogging about one of the kids in my care again. I took down the last post I did about my job because someone I don’t know wrote a rather scathing comment about the ethics of me blogging about someone else’s kid. First I wrote a response, then I took it down altogether. And wish I hadn’t. I will say now what I should have said then: my blog is anonymous enough that no one would ever be able to identify me or the kids from it. And this is MY JOB. Everyone blogs about their job sometimes. I will be no different.