Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I just can't relate

Seperation anxiety and stranger anxiety are normal parts of a child's development. I know this. Emerson's kicked in around 6 months- right on cue according to the "books". However, according to the "books" it should have gone away and then come back at 9mo, 12mo, 15mo and so on...Emerson's has not gone away. In fact it has gotten worse.

If you were a fly on the wall of our house, you would never know it. She is bubbly, silly, chatty- basically a typical toddler. However, you bring someone new into the mix or you put us outside of the home and she freezes- no smiling, no talking, clinging to my leg and often in tears. In fact when I went to the doctor last week to get a steroid shot from a sinus infection, she screamed and literally clawed at me the entire time. No one even touched her. She was in my arms the entire time.

I just don't understand. It has been really difficult to me to see other kids happy and interactive and then to see Emerson in such a state. It is hard not to think that I have done something wrong to cause this. Many times I have thought that it is because we are not out enough- she is not in Gymboree, she is not in mothers-day-out, etc. We do plenty of things though. We are in a music class and she goes to the church nursery (for as long as they can handle her). We have play dates and go shopping. So, we are certainly not hermits.

I want her to enjoy kids and fun activities, not be terrified of them. I want her to venture out, not cling to me. In fact, I truly think that this is an underlying issue in her not walking. Anyways, in the past few days I am coming to grips with the fact, that it is not me or our schedule, it is just her personality. She is just shy.

It is really hard for me to relate though. It is hard for me to not get frustrated with her because I am not shy and I don't understand her feelings or what she is going through. I know I need to be sensitive to her while at the same time encouraging her to try new things and venture out, but I am not sure how to balance that fine line.

Any advice?

Here is proof that we do stuff. These are pics from a playdate last week.

Emy and Rylie (yes, Ry is wearing a bathing suit)

The gang- Emy, Ry, Hayden and Makenna

Have a great week.



bethany said...

I totally know your feeling-Jakson is the same way! In fact, we've been going to story time at the library for TWO years and he's just recently stopped hanging on me the whole time and has started interacting with the other kids (they dance and sing at story time-he would just sit in my lap and stare at them). From what I've read about kids who are shy, you just have to accept it and not push them. It's really hard not to push because I feel like he is missing out on fun things that he would enjoy. At least with Jaks, he has started to outgrow it a little as the has gotten older. He used to try and drag me back out of any activity we went to because he was scared of the situation and doesn't do that as much anymore. It's very frustrating-I feel your pain and wish I had some magic solution, but unfortunately I do not. Good luck

Amanda said...

Sab, you are doing such a great job with her. We ALL have things about our kids that we compare to those around us and wonder what the deal is.

Danielle (Life with the Hewitt Family) said...

I know exactly what you are feeling. Carter has just started to come out of this stage in the last few months and he is 3 1/2 years old! It always broke my heart when he would not participate in things that I knew he would love or when he wouldn't play with other kids his age. When Emerson is ready she will do it...Good Luck!

Amy said...

Based on the comments it looks like you're not alone. Were you or Steve like that as a baby? I don't care if you're shy or the most outgoing baby in the world, there's no one better than Mommy. She doesn't strike me as abnormal at all, although I can imagine it's frustrating to always have to be the one holding or playing with her. Hang in there! I'm sure she'll grow out of it!

Anonymous said...

Sabrina-- you are doing such a wonderful job and are a terrific Mommy to Emy! This is nothing you "caused" and is just her make up at the moment. It doesn't mean she will always be like that either. Sound like you are doing great things to get her "out" and with others and in my opinion that is all you can do. Continue to encourage her to be around others and in new situations and it just may take her awhile to "warm up" to people she doesn't know. Hang in there- it is so hard to have an area you want to "fix" or "change" and not be able to. Keep up your great work and know you are doing an awesome job.
By the way- love the pics and wish we lived closer to play!