Monday, November 12, 2007

You can have my truck, but you can't have my hugs!

To watch a child become more independent is bittersweet. This past weekend my son stayed in the church nursery all by himself for the hour our pastor delivered his sermon. Anytime we tried to do this in the past it failed miserably: he would become hysterical.

He has never been in a daycare situation before, so I am sure he felt insecure about whether his needs would be met if neither his mommy nor daddy were with him. Being touched by other children would upset him greatly; another kid could snatch his toy and he would be fine, but if he were hugged he’d freak out! If another child started to cry or became agitated it would send my son to the roof! He’s very sensitive like that.

Over the last few weeks I have watched him grow more confident and show a healthy interest in playing with other children. It was time to try the nursery again. This time he settled in quickly; he explained to his new little friend that her doll was wearing a “shirt”, and then he began to drive some trucks up and down the table. When I told him that I was going to go back upstairs with Daddy he looked at me briefly and continued with his game. I stood outside of the nursery door for a couple of minutes watching him play: he didn’t look around for me once. His number did not appear on the LCD screen during the whole sermon and I am told that he was totally fine. When we went downstairs to collect him he didn’t even throw himself at my feet and say, “oh, Mother, how good of you to come for me. I missed you so!” He just looked at me with an expression that said, “oh, there’s Mommy, I knew she was around here somewhere. I think I’ll go find another truck to play with.”

While part of me is excited to be able to listen to our pastor teach here and there as the baby allows when she doesn’t need to nurse, part of me is wondering where I left the portion of my little boy that was stuck in “I NEED MOMMY AROUND ALL THE TIME WHEN STRANGERS ARE PRESENT” mode.

It is important to me that my children grow into healthy adults with their bag full of marbles, so I guess I’ll just have to cope. My son recently entered the “I love to give Mommy kisses” stage. That helps.

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