Friday, January 18, 2008

If the baby ain't happy ...

The novelty of Parent's Morning Out has worn off for Dan. He used to be so independent and hardly noticed when I left and when I returned. Now, as soon as we walk into the nursery, he cries and clings to me. This morning was the second time I've had to come get him early because he fussed and cried almost the whole time. A third week I decided not to leave him, then returned to drop him off when the kids were outside playing. The mom in the nursery said he would be fine for a few minutes and then burst into tears as if he had just remembered that his mother had abandoned him. (She didn't say exactly that, but that's what I imagine he thought.) He was sobbing when I returned today.

My sense is that he is too young for this. The other PMO moms said that this is classic separation anxiety which often starts up around this age. I feel pressured, or strongly encouraged, by these very nice, well-meaning moms to keep bringing him even though he's obviously miserable. My sense is to skip a few weeks until it passes. The mantra I keep hearing is, "But you need a break" and "This will pass."

PMO has been more of a chore than a break lately. I work on Thursday nights and Dan usually gets up around 8:30 a.m. PMO starts at 9 a.m. So I have to get him and myself up, dressed, fed and out the door to get there sometime around 9 so that I have a good few hours to myself. All I've managed to do lately in that time is go grocery shopping before I'm called to come get my sobbing puddle of druel, snot and simmering resentment.

The mommies are right, this will pass. In the meantime, I'm not going to subject him to something he's obviously not comfortable with. Does that make me a martyr or a smother mother? Am I a big weenie mom if I don't subscribe to the "toughen up kid" school of parenting? Won't he get over this stage quicker or more easily if I meet his needs instead of ignoring them?

My instinct is do whatever makes him happiest. As soon as I strapped him in his car seat, he was happy. He chattered and boogied all the way home. He was pleasant the rest of the morning.

A saying that's hung in many a kitchen states, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." If you can ignore the atrocious grammar, replace momma with baby and it's apropos.

That said, I think we're going to skip a few weeks of PMO.

And, if you weren't sufficiently entertained by my latest story, click here to see some new videos of Dan.

1 comment:

Super Duper Gus said...

As always I am completely entertained buy your story, but chose to heighten my "Dan experience" with the video. I must say, Danny feeding Bob it the sweetest thing. I literally "awwwed". How is that possible? Priscilla would knock Gus over in a heartbeat for a dirty sock let alone a cookie. What kind of magic lady are you? Can we trade dogs? BTW, your not a wennie Mom in my book. Why put your kid through hell just because someone who doesn't even know you thinks it would be good for Dan. Please. That said, I am a TOTAL wennie Mom!