Daycare drop offs have definitely gotten better since we dealt with the whole “library” situation. However, Rylie is still crying every morning. I really don’t understand it. She is fine a minute or two after I leave. The kids love her and she has a lot of friends there. The teachers are all very nice to her and do their best to comfort her. Her teacher says that she listens well and always wants to be involved in the activities they do each day. I think other than “normal” two year old meltdowns here and there, her days at school are wonderful. But she still cries every morning. And she isn’t faking it, either. I can tell by the look in her eyes that she is genuinely upset. It breaks my heart.
She doesn’t cry until the last second when I turn to leave. She tries to be so brave. She tells me on the way to school that she isn’t going to cry. And even as I’m getting her settled she says she isn’t going to cry and she smiles. And then as soon as I turn around and start to walk out, the tears start. She is visibly upset. I feel so bad for her. Maybe SHE doesn’t even know why she is crying. Maybe she just inherited my uncontrollable emotions, and she can’t help it. I wish I could do something for her, though. I hate to see her so upset.
I also wish she wouldn’t think about it so much. I think that is another part of the problem. She seems to concentrate on it, and that doesn’t help. I mean she starts talking about it as soon as she gets in the car like she is trying to psych herself up. I have always told her that it is OK to cry if you are upset or hurt, and I have never made her feel like expressing her emotions is a bad thing. I try to find out what is making her so upset and fix the underlying problem, but I don’t want her to think she can’t express her feelings. I know I have said things like “It is OK, sweetie, don’t cry” when I leave school, but I don’t think I have ever made her feel bad about crying. Hopefully no one else is doing that either.
Tuesday night when we were playing in her room after her bath, we ended up talking about school. I asked her why she cries when I drop her off and she said “because I don’t want you to leave.” I explained to her that I have to go to work every day and she has to stay at school so she can learn new things and play with her friends. We talked a little bit more and I ended up telling her that whenever she felt like she was going to cry she should just laugh, because laughing always makes you feel better. So yesterday morning after we got Bryce settled and started walking into her classroom she started laughing. At first I was wondering what was so funny, but after the second and third time she laughed I realized what she was doing. She was trying to not cry. Of course as soon as I sat her down and kissed her goodbye she started crying. But I was so impressed that she was trying to be brave, and that she had remembered what I said the night before.
Last night we talked about it again and I asked her what would make her feel better about me leaving. She said “I will feel better if Cole holds my hand.” This morning after we left Bryce’s room she was telling me that she didn’t want to eat. She has been doing this most mornings lately, and now I wonder if the anxiety from all of this is getting to her. Anyway, her friends Caden and Eleanor came in right then and Caden sat down at the table to eat. Rylie said she wanted to sit with Caden so I sat her down. She was fine. No crying. She started moving around her plate and bowl to where she wanted it and it looked like she was going to start eating. I gave her a kiss and walked away. Still no crying. All of the sudden I hear “Bye Bye Mommy!” so I turned around. She was smiling and seemed happy, but the second her eyes met mine, it changed. The smile turned into a frown and the tears started. Again, she was trying to be so brave and I was so proud of her. I asked Cole to come over and hold her hand and she got up and hugged him so I left. I hate leaving like that, but I have to.
I know she isn’t just doing this for attention. Because she IS trying the different things we talk about, and I genuinely think she doesn’t want to cry. I hope the not eating thing isn’t because of anxiety, either. She is way too young to have anxiety affecting her like that. I just don’t know what to do about it. I guess we’ll just keep talking about it and trying different coping mechanisms. Or maybe we shouldn’t talk about it anymore? Maybe talking about it keeps it fresh in her mind? I don’t know, I really think that I need to figure out the root of the problem so THAT can be dealt with. Crying isn’t the problem, but rather a reaction to something that she is feeling. If I can figure out what is making her so sad, then we can deal with that and hopefully she will feel better about me leaving.
She seems to do well when Bryce stays in there with her, so hopefully once he is out of the infant room in another few weeks, that will help her. And hopefully he won’t have these issues with separation anxiety. I certainly don’t want to have to leave TWO crying children every morning.
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