Ode to the Gods of Separation Anxiety

I’m about to embark on a trip to Las Vegas to attend Blog World 2008 and I couldn’t be more excited. Walmart is sponsoring me and I’ll have a fabulous time networking and learning. Unfortunately, I also couldn’t be more nervous about leaving this little Mama’s boy behind. In the last 5 days he seems to have developed defined separation anxiety. He’ll do fine with Daddy for the next few days, but I know I am his comfort. And today I even need to leave him with our new sitter so I can depart for the airport. I wish I could tell you how I felt my heartbreaking 20 minutes ago when I put him down for his nap – knowing that he will wake up with no clue why Mommy is away. No words can describe it.
So please let him do okay without me today. Please. Please. Please. If I was a praying kind of girl I’d say a prayer. But I’m not. So instead, I’ll hope the gods of separation anxiety will go easy on this little boy and let him quickly forget that Mommy is absent.

When I hold him he sucks his little thumb – and when he is playing on the floor or at a playgroup – he will explore and then crawl back to my lap for reassurance – along with doing a head dive into my lap along with a quick cozy thumb suck. Then as quick as he found me he’ll be off again crashing over blocks and perusing new treasures from the toy bin.

I know Kenzie will be loving my time away as I’m sure Daddy will treat everyone to the playground, fairs, ice cream, pizza and the joyous Chuck E. Cheese adventure! My daughter never seemed to have this “dependence” on me – even as a baby. Maybe it was because she was such a Daddy’s girl or maybe it was just her nature to rely on me less. It is fascinating to see the differences in my two children as they hit their developmental milestones comparatively and as they develop their own quirks and personalities.

I feel like Kyle’s need for Mommy comes from the sheer fact that as baby # 2 I feel like the both of us were thrown into this ocean of life together since everyone else is so occupied with the games, jokes, fun, drama, and endless conversations with his vivacious older sister. My intuition is that from Kyle’s first days, he has sensed that I am his safety net – his life jacket – his comfort – his mother. Such is a mother’s love. I suspect that he senses the world around him does not revolve around him – but that he has one person who will stop the world as best as she can – to feed him, to hold him, to play with him, to worry about him, and to kiss his endless boo boo’s as he stumbles about while always trying to do more crawling, climbing, or cruising, than he is quite ready for in his efforts to keep up with his exuberant sister.
I wonder if other Moms with more than one child – or even a half a dozen feel the bonding is dependent on the birth order? Or is it something else entirely?

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