And that is what I now have. Separation Anxiety Anxiety.
Let me explain.
Two weeks after we moved here, Ben and I signed up for a membership at Gold's Gym. Basically, I just sit there, while Ben puts his skills to work and gets us a crazy good deal.
Our membership includes access to the kids club, for all three of our kids. Yup, they take infants.
We walked into the gym and the kids were fine. We went into the kids club...kids were fine. We left the kids in the club and began our workout.
A few minutes later we are called back to the kids club. We knew it was probably the baby or Sam.
It was MARY!!! She was sobbing. Talk about a shock. Mary LOVES the kids clubs at gyms. Weird.
She was so upset, that we ended up coming home. We were very baffled.
Then Mary started kindergarten. I drove her to school, took pictures and sent her on her way. She was happy and excited. No problems.
Two weeks of school went by...no problems at school, but still problems at the gym.
Then I drove to school one day to pick her up and she was crying. Weird.
She said that she was worried I wouldn't be there to pick her up. Double Weird. I am always there on time.
The next day, when I picked her up, she was sobbing and the teacher was holding her hand. Same story. What!
The next day, Mary didn't want to go into the school when the bell rang. Up to this point, she was going to school just fine, it was the leaving school that was the problem. She cried so hard that I had to park the car, get the boys and Mary out and walk her to her classroom. Her teacher said she was just fine once I left. What the heck!
The next day Mary was screaming her head off on the playground and literally wrapping her arms and legs around me. It was the beginning of a new track for some kids, so it was their first day of school. Parents and video cameras were everywhere. Um, yeah. She refused to go to her classroom when the bell rang and the teacher came to get them. It took two teachers to pry her off me and take her to class. I got a phone call the second I got home. I needed to come get Mary. They could not calm her down. She was having nothing short of an anxiety attack. I could hear her sobs and literal screams in the background. When I got to the school, the sight of Mary being that upset and sad made me cry. It was horrible. I just sat and hugged her while she clung to me and shook all over. I brought her home and she stayed with me the rest of the day.
That weekend, Ben had a work party, so we got a babysitter. Mary LOVES babysitters! We ended up being 45min. late for the party because Mary was beyond hysterical when we tried to leave. We ended up taking her across the street to the Bishops house (she loves it there). They watched our kids that night for us.
At church a few days later, Mary freaked out because there was a substitute teacher in her class. This has never been a problem...ever. She got so upset that she ended up going to the Sunbeam class, the one the Bishops's wife teaches. And she remained there the rest of the time. My 5yr. old was eating snacks with the 3-4yr olds. So crazy!
I have talked to Mary's teacher several times, talked to my mom, talked to Ben's mom (who works at two elementary school's) and I have researched stuff online. Mary has separation anxiety. Major!!!!
Her teacher assured me that Mary has a lot of friends at school and that no one is mean to her. I helped in her class today and I saw that Mary is happy at school and the kids are nice to her (aside from one boy who made fun of her glasses and made her cry...I about bit my tongue off trying not to totally let him have it. I am pretty sure my face was making all sorts of tweaks and pinches as I tried not to scream my head off. The teacher did a good job of disciplining him, but still...oh the rage).
Anyway, I have talked to Mary a lot. She says no one is hurting her. No one picks on her. She has friends. She just flat out misses me and worries that I will be gone forever once I am out of her sight.
That is the bottom line. It breaks my heart. I have shed a lot of tears for her this past week or so. It is a horrible thing to witness happen to your precious little girl.
Her teacher and I made a plan that seems to help. I walk Mary right up to the classroom door every day. No dropping her off at the curb like the other kids. The first day we did this William was screaming for food, Sam was in his awesome and totally nerdy orange striped feety pajamas (we call the candy corn p.j.'s) and I was wearing capri's with socks and had no make-up on. My feet are cracked, give me a break. It is all I can do to just get Mary up in the morning, fed and in the car. Now I get to take the whole family into the school everyday. It was awesome. The circus has come to town folks!
Mary also brings her stuffed cat to school with her. She loves this cat. It stays at the teacher's desk, and when Mary misses home, she tells her teacher and she gets to hug her cat. According to her teacher, the cat gets a lot of loves during the day.
After school, I GET TO arrive 10 minutes before school is out, in order to get a spot right in front of the school. Then, when I see the class coming out, I get out of the car and am waiting right at the school door when Mary gets to it. Thank goodness Sam and William are good sports.
I also spray Mary's arm with my perfume every morning, and when she misses me she smells her arm. The mornings I work out before taking her to school, she smells her armpit. j/k But that would probably be more accurate.
So far, this seems to help. She still gets very anxious before school, but we haven't had tears for two days now. We are still working on getting her to go to the kids club at the gym, but for now, Ben and I just have to tag team in order to keep Mary from totally freaking out.
I now get anxious anytime I have to leave her anywhere. I worry about the ordeal that lies ahead. I do my best not to show it and to be happy and calm for Mary. I call it separation anxiety anxiety. Not fun.
I feel so bad for her. The move, a new baby, starting school, new friends, new ward, new gymnastics class. It is a lot to take in for a VERY observant 5 1/2 yr. old.
I pray every day that she will feel more comfort and peace and that she will know that her momma loves her with all of her heart and she will always be there for her.