Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Post separation anxiety: Baby reaction after reunion with daddy

See Daddylicious having no care in the world while Mummylicious and PP got left behind. Harummph

 I mentioned before, Daddylicious were away for a golf tournament in Langkawi for 5 days. It was the first time he has been away from PP and Mummylicious since I gave birth. It will also  be costly for him in term of payback for leaving Mummylicious to tend to PP all by herself while he was at the beautiful island of Langkawi to play GOLF. But more on that when i actually do get my "payment". 

The day he came home, PP and I went to pick him up at the airport. Me. alone. driving 30 minutes to LCCT airport with PP in the backfacing car seat at the back. Worried? of course, PP have the tendency to suddenly let out ear piercing cry when in the car seat but today, she was busy playing with her Mr Butterfly and Ms Caterpillar. (i really have to do an introduction to her Misters and Misses toys) and then promptly fell asleep. Heaven! all i had to do was concentrate on the long drive, and finding a parking spot once we were there. No luck on the parking spot. I didn't want to park too far as it was high noon and hot hot hot! so I ended up going round and round the parking area until finally Daddylicious about to come out, I stopped the car, at the parking lot, near the pathway directly infront of the domestic arrival entrance. ....and the PP woke up. My baby really know when the car stops. Either to cry indignantly for movement again or she knows, she's at the destination.

Now the real question, did PP have separation anxiety with Daddylicious?

Not really. None that i noticed but she did showed post-separation anxiety behaviour. 

The answer is yes and no? PP showed Daddylicious the same behaviour she would do when I leave her for a few hour. She ignores the person who left her. She would look for me as i call her as soon as i enter the house but would refuse to look at me when i hold her until several minutes.  Daddylicious never experienced this before. Until we picked him up from the airport. But...it was way a shorter period than what she would do to me! and i only left her for couple of hours! unfair.

I searched all keywords to find the normal baby's reaction after being separated from their parents. because I need it. I have been trained in all my education to have reference to what you say or it wont be valid. I am anal like that. But either i am missing something or no one hardly touch on the subject, i found only one reference. ONE. and it's Dr Peter Cook who wrote

"It is painful to go on experiencing such hurt, angry and even depressed feelings, and eventually the infant may pass into a state which has been termed "detachment". It may be thought that the child has "settled", and he or she may appear happy. He may be friendly to almost anyone, except to his mother if she re-appears. Children in this state will often turn away from their mothers or appear not to recognize them. It seems that they cannot bear to have the feelings of hurt and longing brought up again." Dr Peter Cook in Attachment And Separation: What Everyone Should Know.

So there, a valid reference to say if your baby ignores you after you have been away, for a short or a long period, for work, "mummy-time" or holiday. being ignored is normal. So don't take it personally. After some time, baby will smile back at you. Although from my experience, she will scold you back at a lenght in her baby talk and be extra clingy. You just have to accept that and treat her the same as always. That is lots of love, kissing and hugging before the next mummy or daddy's escape! That's another issue of separation/strangers anxiety that i won't touch now.

Ps: I also found out that separation anxiety and strangers anxiety is the same concept. Aaaaaahhh. More about that later.  or you can read about it early from Dr Cook's link.

Useful link

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