Separation anxiety has arrived in our house. Florence, who is just starting to explore the world around her, now wails like it’s ending if she can’t see me or isn’t being held. Oh baby, it seems like parting is unsweet sorrow.
It’s a classic case and I know it’s a perfectly normal stage to happen at her age, but it’s hard to see her being this distressed. She’s our baby, our tiny baby who is so attached and spends most nights starfishing in our bed. There’s not much you can do apart from comfort and reassure her, scoop her up and hold her tight (is there?)
“But after six months of not putting her down I was enjoying having two free hands and getting a few things done….” I wail to my mum, somewhat guiltily. She reminded me of how we’ve been here before, when she came to stay and had to call me back, after ten minutes, from a solo trip out to the supermarket – of all the crazy places – as baby Eliza was that upset by my absence.
Has anyone else had a particularly bad case? I know Eliza grew out of hers eventually (although true to second-time-mum amnesia, I can’t remember when). I really can’t do anything at the moment, apart from when Alex is around.
But after I spoke to my mum I thought of all the times she waved me off somewhere – travelling, university, around the world by myself, down to London when I had no house, no job and not much of a clue. How did she let me go? Especially when I only communicated via the occasional email, call or postcard. “You have to let go” she tells me.
When your children are babies you’re so focused on getting on and getting through the baby stage that you don’t really think much further afield. And it’s a long way off, I know, but it’s inevitable that I’ll have to send them off into the world at some point. A slightly daunting prospect. Ultimately, who’s going to have the separation anxiety in the end?
At the moment I’m Florence’s passport. But for how much longer? She’ll get itchy feet and an eternal case of wanderlust, it’s inevitable. So for now, I’m just going to hold her, close.