Separation anxiety

I'm pretty sure we are heading into full on separation anxiety. Asher is playful and happy...  until I make the tiniest move towards the other room. Sometimes all it takes is a move off the floor and onto the couch. Immediately, he produces big crocodile tears, a red, pitifully sad face and loud cries.

This past week Asher and I went to a friends house to hang out with some girlfriends of mine and a little buddy of his. We went in, pulled off all our winter garb (yes, sadly we are still in jackets and gloves over here) and plopped ourselves in the living room floor. Asher happily emptied out his diaper bag, carefully examining and banging each item on the coffee table before discarding it for the next treasure. I chatted with my two girlfriends over chocolate and rarely messed with Asher at all, except for a brief moment when we giggled at him playing peek-a-boo with his burp rag. Eventually his dinner time rolled around and the girls and I got up from our spots. I headed toward the kitchen and Asher's lower lip started quivering. Each time I went around the corner from him, he would start to cry.

This doesn't happen just when we're out and about. He does this at home, too. Until a few days ago, if Collin and I walked from one room to the other, Asher would continue playing and then soon follow, speed-crawling across the floor. Now he just bursts into tears. This goes for Dad, too. Sometimes he picks Collin as his favourite person ever and won't let him out of his sight without a fuss.

Several times this past week we’ve had him in the bathtub, which he usually LOVES, and he’s just burst into tears out of nowhere. He will typically sit in the tub and splash and play with the biggest grin on his face while one of us stays with him and the other runs around the house getting pajamas, a bottle, diaper, etc. ready for the night. We are pretty sure that these random outbursts of tears are due to the fact that he looked up and realized that one of us was gone.

We’re trying to find a balance in how we react to this. We don’t want to reinforce the crying by swooping down and picking him up immediately every time he melts down because we’ve moved away from him. But we also want him to know we are there, mostly because we know that he is legitimately afraid! He really is scared, and he contorts his face and shakes accordingly. It’s like he learned the cues that lead to us going somewhere else, but he hasn’t quite put together that, when we do leave for a bit, we always come back.

On another note, Asher is ten months old today! Cannot believe we are quickly approaching the one year mark.


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