Sunday, 31 March 2013

Velcro baby

Over the last week Jack-Jack has decided that he only wants me, and would happily be glued to my side every minute of every day. This is excellent news for his attachment to us, but isn't the easiest to deal with as it really excludes Esmeralda. He cries in her arms and reaches out for me, and if I'm holding him but attempt to pass him to Esmeralda he turns his face away and grips on like a limpet to my arm with both hands!

Once this had been going on a couple of days I was starting to feel really guilty about it, as I felt somehow that I was leaving Esmeralda out, so we had a chat about it. Esmeralda confessed that she herself was surprised that she didn't feel jealous as she realises that it's a huge positive step for Jack-Jack, but she is finding it a strange adjustment to feel like the traditional "dad" in the family - going out to work all week and coming home to find that the baby only wants "mummy".

We use slings and carriers a lot so that we can give Jack-Jack the closeness when he wants it but still have hands free to do jobs around the house (we also use them outside the house, and Jack-Jack definitely prefers the sling to the buggy at the moment), but there are certain things that whilst they may be possible to do carrying a baby (going to the loo, having a shower etc.) it just isn't appropriate as a foster carer.

We're giving Jack-Jack as many cuddles as he wants whenever possible to build attachment and trust, but it's tricky especially when Esmeralda is out at work. He doesn't like me to be in a different part of the room to him, and going out of sight even for a second is like the end of the world. Not even CBeebies can distract him from being distraught by the fact that I've nipped to the kitchen to wash my hands after changing his nappy or that I'm hanging out laundry in plain sight on the other side of the room. It's taking some getting used to, as he's spent much of the last 12 weeks being fairly ambivalent about us. I love him dearly, we've been working on this attachment for three months and all these cuddles are really lovely, but it does make me feel bad when he's dissolving into tears just because I have to go for a wee!

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