I reasoned that she would be able to accompany me on most activities whilst we were overseas and at other times there were a number of other relatives there who she at least knew. Whilst I don't regret the decision to take her, it did have a bigger impact on her than I expected. Her separation anxiety returned with a vengeance and her sleep, already affected by jetlag, became very erratic. I decided to just ride it out and let her cling to me (even in the shower!) and co-sleep for the duration of the trip.
It does still amaze me how difficult a phase can feel when you're in the middle of it. It doesn't matter that you know it will pass or that they won't still be doing it in 5 years time. Even after a couple of days, it can feel like it has been going on forever and will continue indefinitely. I also constantly felt that I was handling it all wrong and making it ten times worse or at least significantly harder for EDtot to recover from it. Listen to your instincts, they say. My instincts changed their mind depending on whether I was tired, hungry or just plain fed-up.
On a positive note, I can report that there is now a soft play room at Heathrow Terminal 3! It was a welcome distraction for EDtot before the long flight and meant she could at least burn off a little energy. There weren't many signs for it so head for the "family room" at the far end of the departure terminal, behind Zara. You have to head round the corridor and up in the lift to find it and once there make sure you keep an eye on the time as it can take a while to get to the boarding gate!
So we're now settling back into a routine and EDtot is no longer screaming if I stand up to go to the loo. I can't wait to get back to the classes and activities that we both love and that will hopefully help her shake off the last bits of anxiety. Some singing, dancing, climbing, arts and crafts combined with afternoons in the park is just what is needed. And hopefully we'll be able to make a suitable pressie for Father's Day at the next Happymess session!
|Previous creations at Happymess. Love the little egg guy and beautiful flower!|