This is what we see any time we try to leave Annie:

UPPA!!

Arms outstretched, head back, mouth turned down, brow furrowed, with frantic pleas to be picked up up UP UPPA! The separation anxiety is strong in this one.

We’ve tried a few different tactics to deal with her separation issues. Sometimes one of us will distract Annie so the other can slip out the front door. This only works about 50% of the time because freaking Rigby goes crazy and Annie has learned that means someone is going out the front door. Sometimes we’ll sneak out the back door, which usually results in Annie eventually realizing someone is missing, and then she spends the rest of the time walking around the house going, “Daaaaadaaaaa, where arrrrrre yooooooou?” And then, of course, there is the regular blatant leaving, which results in an epic crying child for the remaining parent.

And this is when she still has one of us at home with her! When Mike and I go out together we always leave her with my parents, which still results in a melt-down but they are so relaxed about the whole thing that the situation isn’t as stressful as it could be. On the other hand, we can’t leave her ANYWHERE else. No gym daycare or anything like that. The last few times I tried to leave her at the gym daycare she had such massive freak-outs that the women in charge weren’t comfortable with me leaving her. I couldn’t blame them.

I keep waiting for these separation fits to get better, but they seem to be getting more intense and I don’t know what to do about it. I have started bringing her along on outings and errands, or just skipping them all-together, anything to avoid watching her little heart break. And I know that’s exaggerating, but for example: a couple evenings ago, we ran out of milk, so I said I’d run to the grocery store. Annie’s dinner was almost ready so it wasn’t a good time to just bring her along. She saw me walking to the door and sprinted after me saying, “Mama, nooo! Annie go! PUH-LEASE Mama! PUH-LEEEEEASSSSE!” I gave her a hug and a kiss and told her I’d be right back, and then I walked out the door to her sobbing. When I came back ten minutes later, she was still sobbing. I took her from Mike and she hugged me and then said tearfully, “Mama STAY.”

I AM NOT MADE OF STONE YOU GUYS! But I guess I have to be.

Who am I kidding, I’m never leaving my house without her again.

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