False Advertising

Remember this? First day of preschool, a whole week ago? She looks totally psyched, doesn’t she?

Turns out, not so much.

Thursday when I dropped her off, she was shy and clingy.

Today when Dan dropped her off, he reports he carried her around the room for five minutes before he could get away.

And then, later, she peed her pants. I had to go all the way home, get a dry outfit, drop it off at daycare, and go back to work. (Just FYI: That’s an extra hour in the car.)

I am starting to think that despite her outgoing nature Kate is having separation anxiety. Or she’s not as adaptable as we thought she was. Change seems to set her back — especially in the potty area.

First it was news of the baby, and pooping in her pants.

And now it’s preschool, and peeing. She had an accident at home last night, too. I just thought it was because she waited too long to run to the bathroom.

But today I am wondering.

She is still waking up at night, probably four times a week. More often than not lately, she goes off in search of her dad (who usually falls asleep on the couch with the TV on). In general she is always seeking me out for another hug or cuddle — even after she is supposed to be asleep or I am supposed to be getting in the car to leave in the morning.

She doesn’t like to be alone. At all. If Flora and I are in the kitchen to do Flora’s “homework”, Kate has to be in there too (for the whole 10 minutes it takes). Or if we’re in the bathroom because I’m giving Flora a bath, she has to be there. And the majority of the time she won’t even go pee or wash her hands (or get a drink or watch TV) unless Flora or I go with her.

Every morning she asks if I have to go to work. (Flora has picked up on this, and is asking now, too.) She asks if she has to go to school or daycare.

I thought she was excited to start preschool, go in with Flora, but maybe I was wrong.

Or maybe I’m over thinking this.

Kate’s evident “set backs’ — if that’s what they are — have caught me off guard.

Maybe something is going on in her little head about processing the death of GG.

Maybe I understand her a little less because she is a second child (for all intents and purposes), and I am an oldest child.

Maybe this is just Kate’s meandering path, and I have to worry a little less and snuggle a little more.

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8 thoughts on “False Advertising

  1. Don’t worry less, its what makes you a mother. Definitely snuggle more. And I can tell you, from personal knowledge and with a pang, that in a blink of an eye she’ll be in college and you’ll wonder how it passed so fast, how come you didn’t treasure it more, even the horrible few months it took 45 minutes to get out the door at drop off time that one year in pre school, and what are all those mundane memories you forgot to REALLY REALLY memorize in the blur of everyday life.

    And more relevant and important, I can add that no matter what you do, this time WILL pass, and because you are a terrific mother worrying about all the possible reasons for whatever is happening it the moment and how you can help, she will grow up with all the advantages a child needs at the best shot at a good life.

    • As one of my midwives reminds me often, “The nights last forever, but the years go by in a flash.” Thanks for the reminder, and the encouragement. She’s such a bright little thing, I hate to think that she’s suffering in any way.

  2. I’m going to guess that this is almost entirely related to the impending arrival of her brother. Much of this reminds me of what we went through with Liam just before and just after his brother was born. It’s a big change and she can’t really quantify. Really, no one can, you just have to do it and that can be scary for a kid.

    I think you just have to wait it out and soldier through. More cuddles are always good. More reassurance that you will love her just as much when her brother is born. (this is based on my own kid who does well with us just coming out and logically stating such things. But he’s a boy so take it with a grain of salt. A very cerebral boy at that.)

    Hang in there. She’ll get the hang of it. By the way, we had potty troubles, too, and Liam was 4 when his brother was born. It’s really, really common. 🙂

    • I agree. I try every day to show her (both of them, really) that no matter what changes are happening, that she is very much loved, and nothing is going to take her place in my heart. I think it’s been a huge adjustment because I am unable to keep up with her, literally. I can’t play, I can’t run or rough-house, and I can’t carry her. Kate is such a physical little girl that it’s been hard for her. But are getting through, and we all take lots of reading time and cuddle time. We’re all getting used to the idea of a little brother around here!

  3. Sounds a lot like what went on when we moved Claire into her own room with a big girl bed shortly after Luca was born. We more or less had to talk it out and reason with her in order for her to tell me about her anxiety. And I agree with the above commenter – to worry is to be a Mom. And you’re a fantastic one. I’m only sorry that your daughter is feeling this way. It’s scary and hard to be a kid, that’s for sure. Good luck with it all.

    -Cassie

    • We did have a recent conversation about what would happen when the baby came, and how much we love her and will always love her. I think part of the problem has been (and I think I mention this, maybe in another comment) that Kate is a VERY active girl, and I have been completely unable to keep up with her, and her dad works very long hours, so hasn’t been around to help with that. We’re all working together to get through it though, with lots of love.

  4. This parenting thing is so tough, I tell you. I’ve no idea what to tell you to do; I can only offer up solidarity and say that I’m in the trenches with you!

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