Sunday, March 16, 2008

Astrid's adjustment to school & mommy returning to work

The other night U. said to me, "I feel she really needs you."

So then we got into this whole discussion about Astrid's adjustment to all the changes that have taken place recently - starting preschool, me going back to work full time. It must be difficult for her in many respects.

First off being with me almost 24/7, and now that gets cut back to spending only 10% with mom.

Then there's the fact that I am her official translator. I can understand just about everything she says - either it's clear as a bell to me, or I can figure it out - from spending so much time with her - and now she's on her own at school. I told her teacher Miss Fathima that Astrid has a hard time pronouncing her name and says, "Miss Tima" instead. I wonder what else the teachers don't understand that she's trying to tell them. It must be frustrating. I know when I pick her up she's ecstatic to see me. Not only because it's me, but because I understand her.

When U. and I go out and leave her with her long-time babysitter Jill on our scheduled date nights, she cries and really has a meltdown, not wanting mommy (me) to leave.

U. has been away on business on several occasions since I started working again, and Astrid is pretty oblivious to it; but when I'm not there, her whole world crumbles. It really seems like her world revolves around me.

U. picked Astrid up from school a couple times, and she did not stop crying and asking for Mama. (Even though U. and I had both prepared her and told her again and again that Papa would be picking her up from school.)

When I pick Astrid up from school she will beg and plead to go to a restaurant and does not want to go home. I attribute it to wanting to spend time alone with me, and have me all to herself.

It's tough because 1) U. wants to have that strong connection with her and I know it hurts his feelings when Astrid acts like all that matters to her is mommy, and 2) I need my space and time for myself as well. But U. and I both understand that it's a phase she's going through given the circumstances. It makes our evenings and weekends extra precious now because it's the only time we get to spend as a family with Astrid.

So on those days when I'm exasperated by her crying and clutching onto my leg, not wanting me to leave - I remind myself of those sweet moments when she whispers into my ear, "Mommy...I love you so much."

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