I’m much more of a “softie” than I pictured. I sort of expected that we’d teach David to be independent early on…help him “self-soothe,” fall asleep on his own, play on his blanket quietly, etc. Not that we wouldn’t spend time together, but he would learn about entertaining himself, as well.
I don’t know when that “more independent” stage comes, but 6 months is not it. This period could be known as the "siamese twins" phase (if siamese twins could be born 30 years apart). Lately he has wanted to play on his blanket only WHILE physically attached to me…in my lap, etc. This isn’t even “parallel play” where I can sneak a look at my phone or computer while he’s playing at my feet. If I break out my Kindle, he lunges for it. Toys can be fun, but let’s check in every 3 minutes, okay, Mom?
I find his outbursts much more upsetting than when he was a newborn. That period was tiring physically and just kind of disorienting. But a newborn’s cries are fairly pathetic…even amusing, because his needs are so simple. He doesn’t even know why he’s crying. He doesn’t know that if he waits 30 seconds he’ll be able to eat or have a clean diaper or whatever and then he’ll be just fine.
But now we have a relationship. If I try to sneak out of the room for a minute, sometimes he looks up from his toy at the wrong time and our eyes meet. We both know what’s happening, and as he realizes it, he bursts into tears. She’s LEAVING me. He doesn’t only cry over basic needs now…there are social ones now, too.
And so…I have not been very productive lately. And that’s fine, because I had a baby knowing that I would be his mother and that he would need me, so here I am!
Another thing that makes me sad, though, is thinking about the kids who really are being left. It didn’t scar me, but I remember being left with babysitters as a child. Yeah, I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t permanent. However, it is very hard for me to think of a child just like my child, but without a mother. With the same wounded look as David when I leave the room, but no one is there to comfort him. My heart breaks for the orphans.