Friday, August 26, 2011

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A Lesson in Adaptability

Why is it that we become so rigid as adults? So incapable of handling change? Sure, some of us are better at handling change, but I would think most of us struggle with change. As you know, I started school this week. I wasn't nervous about starting school but I was nervous about how starting school was going to change things for and with Cati. Would she resent me because I left her? Would she act out? Would she not eat? Would she spend the entire time with the babysitter crying? Would she have trouble falling asleep at night? Staying asleep?
The simple reality was that she adapted just fine. I was worried for nothing. It was me who had trouble with the change.

Wednesday was a trial day. My mother-in-law got out of work early and was the buffer. She was here and so was the babysitter and both of them watched Cati. I said goodbye and no one shed a tear. The babysitter fed Cati dinner, they all went for a walk, and then the babysitter left and my mother-in-law did the bedtime routine. I left that day, sad but not anxious because my mother-in-law was here. Even then, I left the house with a packed dinner and one of Cati's forks instead of an adult fork.
Thursday was the real test. That was the day it was just Cati and the babysitter. For the first time ever, Cati would be left with someone who was not family or a close friend. I said my goodbyes and all emotional hell broke lose. Cati cried and called out mama multiple times. I heard her cry mama when I closed the door to the house and walked to my car. I also cried on that walk to the car and I had to give myself an imaginary slap and a pep talk to knock me out of my downward spiral. Who shows up to their first class with red, puffy eyes? Especially a class about counseling and the importance of speaking about things that are bothering you?

Strangely enough, I wasn't even worried about her being alone with the babysitter, I was more guilt-ridden because I was the source of her pain. Go figure. All this time I was worried about her being with a stranger and the reality was that I was more affected by Cati being sad because of ME.

Anyway, I get to class and spend the first half of the class looking at my phone and wishing time to speed up so I could call home and check up on Cati. I call home and find out that Cati not only ate all her dinner, but also didn't spend too much time crying after I left. In fact, I think I cried longer than she did! Cati had a fun time with the babysitter and adjusted just fine. It took her all of five minutes to adapt to not having me around. It took me two hours to adapt to not being around. After that phone call, a weight was lifted and I went back into class ready and willing to give it my 100%.

So the moral of the story is that I just don't give Cati enough credit. I don't give her secure attachment to me enough credit. I will never, ever leave her and I would never, ever leave her in bad hands. She knows this much better than I think she does. She knows this better than I know it myself.

Now the next moment for adaptation is Cati starting school. I know she will be fine and I hope I will be too. Alex is convinced I will be a sobbing mess that first day. I hope I learned enough this week to prevent that from happening. Although starting school comes with a different set of emotions: when did my baby get old enough for preschool?


Sarah said...

so happy to hear that Cati did just fine last week! :-)

Desi said...

Go you! You did good being away from Cati!! Are you going to school for counseling? I am applying to get my Masters in counseling. So sorry I haven't been around much, time gets away from me and I haven't been able to check on blogs like I want :( I feel like I've missed so much of Cati growing up! I'm off to check off your older posts... I know, I'm going backwards! lol. I can't believe Cati starts preschool soon... time flies so fast!!!!

The Gourmet On A Diet said...

Such good news. Isn't it always the way we see things and not the way they are? (But that doesn't change how we feel anyways, does it!)

Lindsey said...

Aww, Momma. How was the class?