Sunday, October 4, 2009

On My Hands and Knees

Separation Anxiety: The smiling infant who would happily be passed from lap to lap at the family reunion just a few months before, now becomes visibly anxious and fretful when Mom or Dad hands her off to someone else. Until the infant develops the realization that Mom and Dad are permanent figures, known as object permanence in developmental terminology, she will continue to cry or fuss when she cannot see them.

Little Princess has a Big Gianourmous case of Separation Anxiety. If ever I want to please, please, please, let someone else hold her (since she is still not walking) just for five minutes, so I can rest my aging and aching back, I must sneak away. Just this past Sunday, I dropped her off in the nursery at church, crossed my fingers, said a little prayer, and whispered in her ear "If you please don't cry, we will take you and your brothers to McDonald's after church." (in case you were wondering why she would fall for that one, she is already addicted to fries.) The caregiver handed me the parent pager and off we went to "preaching" (as we call it in the South.) Two minutes into the sermon, and I hear buzzing. As I arrive at the nursery, the caregiver says to me, "She did good until she just 'come apart' on me." "Come apart" being another phrase one might only hear down here in the South.

Not only does this anxiety make it hard for anyone else to hold her, it makes it a little difficult to get her in the bed at night. In fact, my husband has not yet been able to get her down successfully. Until now, I have not let the secret of my success out of the bag. You see, without a trap door in the floor, or a hyperspace button, or training by the master Houdini, or the ability to twinkle my nose and bewitch myself out of the nursery, my husband has been amazed at how I get out unnoticed.

The trick is, I give her a bottle with 4 ounces of milk in the left hand, her paci in the right (so she has another plug when her bottle runs dry), tuck her blankie under her right arm and then - drumroll please - I crawl out. On my hands and knees. Say wha??! Yes, I must craaawwwwl out. At times I feel like a Tiger on the prowl, or a contestant on Survivor - working my way thru an obstacle course to win one for the team, or an aerobic instructor who has created a new exercise for toning the buttocks (only wish it worked).

This bedtime technique works 90% of the time. The 10% of failures are usually caused by one of my knees cracking, or my hand landing on a squeak toy, or my stomach growling, or when Princess decides she doesn't want her bottle and instead jumps up in the crib, drops her paci onto my head, and looks over the crib railing at me as if to say, "Mommy, what in the world are you doing down there?"

So there you go. Another parenting tip for you.


  1. make me laugh because we have done the same thing! Sometimes, Trent still gets to cry it out. He's not walking yet either, but I'm ok with it. It's amazing what he can get into by climbing and crawling!
    Keep your funny stories coming...I love it!

  2. Carol... It has been a really long week, worked just up until an hour or so ago and found your page on facebook. I just read your posts for the week, including this one and all of them made me laugh out loud (literally not figuratively). Mike even asked "what are you doing over there?". I just want to say Thank You! This is such a reality check and is something I needed today. I have also crawled out of my children's rooms many times, getting caught by them is the worst. Thanks again for the laughs.