Here at Chez Manfredi-Reeve, we are going through some serious separation anxiety. If I have to leave the room that Vivian is in, she almost always starts to cry. She huffs and puffs, then whines, and if I'm still not back, those big ole tears start to run down her face.
Hearing her cry like that, and knowing she is crying because she wants to be with me, and she's afraid I won't come back, is just heart-wrenching. I have the power to make it all better. But I'm not. Because I'm a big meanie (or because I have to go to work, or the kitchen, or the bathroom). But I need the two hours of "me" time I get after she goes to sleep. Work is stressful, and I just need some time to unwind, whether that's surfing the internet, watching TV, sewing or knitting, or just painting my nails. I need my time, so that I can be a better parent for Vivian when she's awake.
It's hard being the center of her universe. Yesterday (my first official Mother's Day), Vivian had a fever all day, and all she wanted was for me to hold her. She didn't want to be in her swing, she didn't want to play with her toys, she didn't even want Daddy to hold her. Nope, she just wanted to cuddle in my arms and fall asleep on my shoulder. And I let her, because she was sick and I wanted to make her feel better, even just a little bit.
This morning, when I took her to daycare, it was more of the same. Now this is very unusual, because daycare is just about her favorite place in the world. She has been known to push away from Richard and me to get to her teacher, Hilda. But today, when I tried to leave, her face just crumpled up. She crawled over to Hilda, crying, then back to me. I gave her a hug, and then, in a cheery voice, said "I love you baby. Bye-bye. I'll see you after work." I saw her crying as I left. I got teary in the car, and I haven't done that in a long time.
And now, she is crying herself to sleep in her crib. We went through her regular routine: changing into her pajamas, playing quietly with a few toys in her room, reading a story (tonight was "Mr. Brown Can Moo" by Dr. Seuss), and then nursing in the rocking chair. She was fine and calm until I put the side of the crib down to put her in. Then the wailing started.
Now she's quieted down so that she's sort of lustily muttering to herself. And I have a couple of hours all to myself. I think I'll catch up on some TV, while drinking the glass of wine that I have decided is a necessary part of "me time," at least while I'm the center of the universe.