Is it better to have a few minutes together and subject the baby to saying goodbye or for her not to see me at all? I’m writing this on a train, having seen E briefly this morning to change her nappy and then deposit her on her father so I could leave. It’s my usual day off which I’ve swapped to go to this meeting, I have a cold and a cold sore, and I didn’t sleep well. Added to that, when I did sleep, it was to experience horrific dreams, the storyline of which would make even hardened cinema goers scoff with incredulity. I won’t relate it here but I think it had something to do with my inner doubts about how good a mother I am. Since I imagine everyone has these doubts, I really don’t see why my subconscious has to horrify me in this way but there you go.
Anyway, back to my opening point. E, at nursery last week, did not like being left. She was like this at first and then settled down so any change was a surprise, especially when she physically clung to me on Friday – never done that before. This morning I nipped into her room to see her before I left and it turned out she was awake so obviously I had to get her up and have a quick cuddle. But then depositing her on S she was so upset and tried to reach to me as I left that I felt I should probably not have gone into her room at all.
The crying doesn’t last long and she’s soon distracted, especially at nursery – by breakfast, but the whole act of leaving is just not very nice on either side. We’ve had a period in swimming lessons where she was clingy and unhappy with the activities – they call it Water Wobbles – but I think she’s mostly past that now. But I suppose this isn’t necessarily the same thing. It’s not nice to see your mum leave you all the time.
I’m probably dwelling on this more than I should or more than is necessary. S will start a new job next month and my ability to change days like this will end. In the meantime I think I feel I ought to be as flexible as I can for my employers, despite there being no outward pressure to do so. If I said I couldn’t go to today’s meeting, they would be fine with that. But I go anyway and then blog about how bad I feel. You can all tell me I bring these situations on myself.
S has today with her and then tomorrow and then Wednesday afternoon and then Thursday. But he won’t be doing that for long. And it’s different for him as he doesn’t drop her off at nursery, he does the nice pick up run and will continue to do that after he starts the new job. I get to be the bad parent here. A savvy child will soon pick up on my guilt but for now, E and I like to do nice things together on our days off. Next Monday we’re planning to play crazy golf and have lunch out. Hopefully this will oust her memories of abandonment…