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Isn't This Supposed To Be Getting Better?

The past few weeks have seen a drastic
increase in Cora’s separation anxiety, and I keep wondering
– when’s it going to get better?

I mean, the girl’s twenty months now- that’s a year and
two-thirds. And separation anxiety is supposed to peak around
eighteen months, so wouldn’t we be maintaining or getting
better rather than going deeper into it?

I suspect that part of the cause is Cora’s nearly unending
stream of colds and teething and stomach viruses; there’s
nothing like not feeling good day in and day out to make you want
your mommy. So I get that, and give her extra snuggles and love and
patience. But even when she seems to feel good, she simply wants
me, and nothing else will do.

Last weekend Cora went to spend the
morning at her grandparents’ house; I did a marathon two days
of financial paperwork and filing and computer stuff as I prepared
to get our taxes done, and Brian’s main job was to keep the
girls out of my hair. And in the past with Cora, out of
sight’s been out of mind: she’d cry if she saw me leave
for work, but if she got up after I’d already left then
she’d be fine until I walked in the door. But at her
grandparents’ house, several times she walked around
whimpering, “I want Mommy, pease. Want Mommy, pease!”
This simply never used to happen.

And if I’m in the house, forget it. My weekend of paperwork
was greatly broken up with Cora breaks: I’d get about half an
hour of work done before she’d begin cruising by the glass
French doors to the office, then staring in longingly, then banging
against them and crying, “Want Mommy, pease!” No
comfort from Daddy would help, and any attempt to peel her away
from me would bring her to an inconsolable mess until I’d put
down my calculator and walk out to snuggle for fifteen minutes.
She’d even sit quietly in my lap in front of the computer for
long periods of time, content to be held by me and to snuggle into
my hair.

She regressed so much that we actually had to sleep train her
again, for the first time since probably November. Cora was having
so much trouble sleeping with her stuffy nose that she’d wake
up from a nap after maybe twenty minutes, crying and calling for
me. I’d snuggle her in her rocking chair, and she’d
fall asleep upright against my chest almost instantly. Since I knew
part of the problem was her stuffiness and that it was easier to
sleep sitting up, I let her sleep a few naps that way. But when her
stuffiness began to clear and she was still waking and asking for
me very early into her nap, I knew we needed to let her cry it out
again, and it took her twenty minutes of crying and asking for
Mommy PEASE before she finally went back to sleep.

And nights weren’t much better; she never needed me to come
in, but she’d give a half-hearted “Mommy pease”
every hour or so throughout the night, which finally ended after
her sleep-training last week.

I don’t know what to do here. If I’m sitting on the
floor she’ll walk up and either plop in my lap or wrap
herself around my back, leaning her head against my spine. If
I’m cooking it’s “Up! Up!” And God forbid
if Maddie wants me to help her in the bathroom, and I have to shut
the door on Cora with me and Maddie on the other side.

I do love the snuggling, and know this is an all-too-short time
period. But a little more independence would be nice. When I get
home from work at night and Cora and Daddy greet me at the door, I
can’t tell which one looks more relieved – nor can I
tell which one to feel sorrier for.


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