My sweet Emmie has always needed more snuggles, hugs and reassurance than many more independent toddlers. While she’s always needed that, she’s never really gone through the real “separation anxiety” most younger babies go through. She might have cried a few times dropping her off at daycare when she was a baby, but it was never bad.
Maybe that’s why her current anxiety seems so much worse. Poor Emmie has had a triple whammy leading up to this: First, her main teacher at school left; then, she finally started bonding with a friend at school… who then promptly turned 3 and moved up to the next class; and the final nail in the coffin was that I went back to full-time work at almost the same time, meaning that she lost a “Mama-day,” and I was coming home much later on all the other days too.
In the aftermath of all this, Emmie now NEEDS her Mama. When she goes to bed, I need to be touching her. If I’m not, she will cry and say “I’m so ‘cared, Mama! S’uggle me please, or I be so ‘cared!” and “I’ll be so ‘cared when you go far away.” She talks a lot about “keeping me safe” and “be so close to me.”
The upside of this is that now she actually is willing to have actual snuggles (like, bodies touching), as opposed to what she used to call “little snuggles,” which was really just us laying next to her in bed, and very explicitly NOT touching her.
Even though it can be hard not even being able to leave the room without her panicking and crying because I’m “so far away,” it is so nice to have those sweet snuggles at night and throughout the day. I know I won’t be able to hold her in my arms forever, so I’ll try to keep her there while I can.