Posted by: mommytoo | December 6, 2008

two steps forward, one step back

our nanny adopted a baby last week, he is about two weeks old.  so it was probably our mistake to take advantage of her desire to start working again right away!  nate spent thursday afternoon with her and it was a disaster.  it seems that he screamed bloody murder from the moment d dropped him off until the moment she picked him up.  she actually picked him up a bit early, and i managed to get home earlier than usual, and she still made it to her 8pm appointment.

but then yesterday morning, we got an email from his nanny, telling us that she doesn’t think she can take care of nate any more.  we are really sad, and kind of angry too.  she’s been taking care of him for a couple of months, once or twice a week, for a few hours at a time.  this is the second time that he’s gotten to the point that he was inconsolable, which i’m sure is hard, especially for someone who is used to being a baby whisperer.  but we figured out that it was just over an hour between when d dropped him off, and when she called us both at work, at her wits’ end.  i can’t leave work early – at least not without major drama – and d was about to start a session.  so she got there an hour later, and a (that’s the nanny) was in tears. 

i just didn’t consider that if nate cried too much a couple of times, our babysitter would quit.  it really throws a wrench into our plans, and is just disappointing.  i should add that a’s life is a bit nuts lately.  thursday was the first time she’s taken care of nate since having her own baby, and the adoption has been complicated — they’re not even positive they’re going to get to keep him. 

nate is 8 months now, and although it’s an exciting age, it’s also – from what i’ve read – really intense for him.  he has separation anxiety but is still working to develop object permanence.  not an easy task.  d is in a group for therapists with babies, and this week they talked about some interesting stuff.  including the fact that their bodies are working so hard to learn new tasks, sometimes they can’t slow down.  which would explain nate’s popping up, which he sometimes seems to do in a sound sleep.  he pops up and almost can’t seem to stop himself, even when he wants to be sleeping.  he seems to wake up when he’s already almost sitting up.  i can’t imagine how crazy it feels to be a baby.

nate also seems to be in a bit of a mommy (that’s d) phase.  he’s thrilled with me when we’re all together, and when she isn’t there he’s happy to play with me and let me be primary.  but when she is home and not in the room, he is distracted and happy.  but if he can see her, it’s different.  if we’re playing in the living room and she’s in the kitchen or dining room, he tracks her every move with his eyes.  and when she comes home from anywhere and walks into the room, he bursts into tears.  from what i’ve heard, this is all very normal.  he’s learning that he and d are separate people, and he seems surprised to see her and realize he’s been without her.

all normal stuff, and indicative of how bonded they are.  it’s just hard sometimes.  i feel increidbly bonded to him, but it’s in different ways.  and i think the symbiotic relationship of nursing mom/nursing baby is magical.  which makes me glow with joy and also a little green with envy.



  1. I wouldn’t be surprised if a huge part of the nanny situation is her own new child. She’s probably hugely overwhelmed, not that it makes it any easier for you guys to rustle up a new sitter, but may help to realize it isn’t all about Nate.

    As far as the preference stuff, Leigh was actually more bonded to me as an infant, and it was really inconvenient (though yes, I did not-so-secretly enjoy it, *especially* as a non-bio-mom). During times like that, we would focus on getting Gail time alone with Leigh. As a toddler, she’s been much more into Gail, but it waxes and wanes, and at least we know it can go the other way. We also stick to our guns on alternating who puts her to bed, and does other basic caretaking, so that even when one of us is “preferred” they don’t get drained, and so Leigh understands we both care for her. That’s with a toddler, but we did the same at 8 months.

    Hang in there.

  2. […] a very stressful time for little Nate and his family. Poor little guy – he has so many people he loves around him, and it’s so tough when they […]

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