Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Miss Independent

Lately, Scout has been having a difficult time with separation.  Our independent little girl who has slept alone in her room her entire 3 years and who happily shouted, "See ya, Mom!" when she started preschool in the fall, has been clingy and needy lately.  Every night at bedtime, we go through the same routine.  "Mommy, I need you.  Mommy, don't leave me all alone.  I'm afraid of the dark.  My room is spooky.  I'm afraid in here by myself." 

School drop-off has been no better.   The separation anxiety that has improved for most of the kids, has gotten progressively worse for Scout.  She was happy and excited when school started.  Lately, I can't get out the door.  She refuses to go in the classroom without me.  She refuses to hang up her jacket and backpack. She needs another hug.  She doesn't want to go sit on the rug.  "Mommy, don't leave me.  Mommy, when are you coming back?  Mommy, I need you."  I'm always the last parent out the door in the mornings. 

We've talked about this a lot.  I figured if I knew what the problem was, we could deal with it.  But, there doesn't seem to be any real issue.  Once she lets me leave, she's fine.  When I pick her up, she's all smiles, excitedly chattering about how "fun school was."  I have been feeling frustrated, wondering what caused this change in her and if it's "just a phase."

We've been working on bed time routine and have seen major improvement, and today, we may have had a break through at school.  This morning, Scout insisted on choosing her own clothes.  Of course, she wanted a spaghetti strap sundress.  I expressed my concerns about her being chilly.  Her response?  "I'm wearing something under it."  "Ok," I said.  Here's her outfit of choice.

I always hesitate when she wants to wear her own thing, but as long as it's clean, it's safe (no slick dress shoes at the park), and it's weather-appropriate (no swimsuit and flip flops in winter), who am I to squelch her unique sense of fashion?  She studied herself in the mirror this morning and proclaimed, "I look AMAZING!"  So, we headed to school.

While we waited in the hall, I prepared myself for another round of "Mommy, don't leave me."  Instead, when the teacher opened the door, Scout turned to me, took her coat and backpack, and said, "I don't need you here."  She headed into her classroom and started her morning.  I stood with my mouth open.  The other moms grinned at me, and I left the school beaming.  My little Miss Independent was back!  Apparently, the right outfit does make all the difference in the world.

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