The word of the day, everyday and all night around these parts is “Mama.”  Jack is experiencing a wave of separation anxiety and some serious Mama love, truthfully it is equal parts sweet and frustrating. There is nothing sweeter than my name on my little boys lips, and the light in his eyes that follow. It moves me, helps me be patient and fills me with so much tenderness. In the night when he wakes, it is no longer cries that I hear beckoning me through the walls, but the escalating wails of “Mama, Mama, Mama,” when I pick him up from his crib and press his warm little face in to my shoulder, I bask in the fact that a simple touch can sooth him. But sometimes even when he is in my arms he still cries and chants “Mama” and I know that is the word he uses when he needs comfort, love, when he wants or desires something and sometimes I think he says it when he feels like a stranger in his own skin, that uneasy feeling that we all get sometimes, he says “Mama” to chase it away. It fills me with so much love that my name is equal to the source of all comfort, it is so elemental, so primal.

The frustration arrises, when I can not leave the room with out the pitiful squawk of “Mama” on my heels, arrises when I see the hurt look in my husbands eyes, when “Dada” can not sooth like he used to, arrises when I am holding him and loving him and he still howls “Mama” to which there is not much I can do (unless he is referring to some other more adept Mama that I don’t know about.)

Obviously Jack is going through something right now, he is teething and growing at an alarming rate, and 16 months seems to be a common age for separation anxiety. But it is hard not to feel like it is something that I caused; maybe I am not giving him enough attention, maybe we moved him out of our bed and in to his own too soon? These are the questions that clutter my mind. When I am rational, I remind my self that I am with him all day, so a lack of attention is unlikely and he handled the adjustment to his own bed really well, not to mention I still go in and nurse him a few times a night, so he is hardly independent in the evenings, but when I am tired all the logic drains off and the irrational guilt floods in.

I have been trying to focus on what I can do to help soothe his uneasy days. I have been keeping them rhythmic and predictable, playing outdoors, taking long walks in the ergo and holding him close when his little body can’t seem to settle down. I know that these days will pass, and the “Mama” days will be a sweet (and slightly exhausting) memory.

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