I found myself becoming frustrated today as you are not “yourself”. I cannot put you down to let you play the way I usually can. You want to lay belly to belly quietly in mommy’s and daddy’s bed and nurse. You want to nurse while you nap. You nursed most of last night and did not sleep well at all. It’s like the six week growth spurt all over again- but you’re ten months old.
I have chores that need to be done. They’ve built up recently. Laundry to do, floors to sweep clean of crumbs, and the random sticky spots that have cropped up around the kitchen table.
I need to remember the reasons why you cling close after disruption.
Last Friday I volunteered at your brother’s school and you played with your awesome babysitter while I was out of the house for two short hours. Then on Saturday I had the first date with your daddy that I’ve had since you were tiny and still growing in my belly. And then yesterday I had a meeting and was gone from 7AM to 2PM. Then when you really wanted to simply melt into my arms and find your peace again we rushed off to watch your biggest brother at karate. Not significant changes in adult-like terms, but what about to a baby who finds comfort in her routines and in closeness and consistency?
I’m sorry, sweet one. You’re trying to repair the tiny cracks in our relationship. You’re trying to tell me that you missed me. You’re trying to put in the work and the closeness to return the strength of our attachment. And I’m trying to tick off items on my to-do list that I neglected.
Our relationship is so strong and secure. You trust me so much to meet your needs. Then I’m not there, and you cope so well and play so hard while others that you trust watch you. And then I come back and you simply want to set everything right again and catch back up to where we were before.
As an adult when I don’t see your father for a day or two and then he comes home and sits down and checks his email.. That makes me sad enough. I can only imagine how silly it must seem to you that I want to put you down to play with a machine full of water and dirty clothes.
You cling to me after disruptions because our relationship is important to you and you’re putting in the work to make it right again.
I wrote this earlier as you slept on my chest. Then I held you and kissed you and talked to you and told you that I missed you and was happy to be home with you again. You glomped down on my nose with spitty baby gums, then squirmed your legs until I put you down so that you could crawl off and look for things to explore.
Yes, little one. You mean the world to me. I’m sorry if I made you doubt that.