A few weeks ago, I was in KL for a company trip. I was away for 5 days 4 nights. Isaac missed me very much, as I did him. According to hubbs, it wasn't just that he cried at night, but that throughout the day, Isaac would be kinda down and subdued. Not his usual smiley and laughey self.
When I got back to Singapore, I raced home to put down my stuff, took a quick bath, and quickly hopped on a cab to my in laws place to see my Isaac. I imagine in my mind how our 'reunion' would look like. I pictured in my mind that Isaac would be all smiles when he sees me, just like he usually does when I see him after coming back from office every night.
When I got there, Isaac had just fallen asleep - his afternoon nap. He was in the sarong. I sat by the sarong, just looking at him. I couldn't resist stroking his head and his cheek.
Perhaps it was my touch, or my smell, or just isaac-mummy sense - Isaac opened his eyes and saw me. For a moment, he seemed dazed and didn't react. For a split second, I panicked and thought that he had forgotten me already, that he'd not recognised who I was.
Then, Isaac kinda tried to sit up, and indicated that he wanted to be carried. I gladly picked him up and we had a long hug. Isaac just placed his head on my shoulders. And was contented to let me hug him, and him me.
He didn't smile widely, as I thought he would. He didn't even smile. He just looked... relieved. Just... glad, that I was home. And frankly, so was I - I missed him so much. I was just glad to be be with him again.
Since my return, till today, two full weeks have passed. And since then till now, Isaac has been paranoid. I think he's paranoid that I would leave him again. I think he feels that I had abandoned him.
Now, he would not allow me out of his sight at all. Once I am out of sight, he would whimper and cry in the desperate and panicky manner of one who has lost something he treasures. He never used to do this. We were very close and he would stick to me, yes, but not to this extent.
Now, when he wakes up in his bed while we're not in the bedroom, he'd immediately cry very desperately and panickly searching for me. Before, he would simply crawl out of the bedroom, into the living room to look for us. He would not cry at all.
Now, he wakes up intermittenly with a sharp desperate cry, then he sees that I am there, then he tries to climb up to want me to hold him, then he goes back to sleep. Before, he would just look up to check that I'm still there, and just turn and go back to sleep - no cry nor fuss at all.
Now, he sticks to me and wants me to do everything for him, though thankfully most of the time he's still ok with hubbs. But if I am around, he'd refuse my mother in law or the helper to bathe him nor do anything for him. Before, he was quite alright and reasonably allowed my MIL and the helper to do stuff for him, even when I was around.
Now, it's very tough to drop him off at my in laws in the morning coz he'd cry when he realises I am leaving. I have taken to sneaking away while my in laws distract him. Before, he understands that I need to go to work, and can smile and wave goodbye most of the time when I drop him off.
Just this morning, he was cranky in the car-seat when I was driving. He was crying and screaming his head off - he wanted me to hold him. But I couldn't, coz I was driving. But his crying was inconsolably pathetic, so I turned back during traffic light stops, to try to pacify him by holding his hands. I used to always try to do this before, but before, he would always beat away my hands, as he was angry that I couldn't carry him. But today, he actually kept quiet the moment he held my finger. But as the lights changed and I needed to change gears, I'd have to pull back my finger - which triggered fresh new cries of terror when he realises that my finger is slipping away. He starts to grab my finger more tightly, and he tries to grab the other fingers with his other hand, desperately trying to prevent me from slipping away...
He never used to be like that.
Sighz. But I don't blame him at all. It must have been very traumatic for him to realise his mummy's gone. Just like that. And now that she's back, she better not leave again. So he's doing his best to ensure that.
I thought about it, and realised that I didn't really pre-empt him that I was going to be away for awhile. I realised that I had underestimated my importance to him. I realised that I unconciously thought I was only important to him coz of milk only.
Thus, what I had been pre-empting him before my trip, was to let him know that I would not be around to (breast)feed him. I'd keep repeating to him:"Isaac, Mummy would not be able to feed you, you know. You must be a good boy and listen to Papa and Ah Mah, ok? You must drink the milk they make for you. Coz Mummy won't be able to feed you. So you be good boy and drink formula milk ok? Be good boy... Mummy's so sorry Mummy cannot feed you... you be good boy and listen to Papa ok?"repeat. ad nauseam. on and on, I would.
Just a passing reference that I would be away. But mostly about milk!!! So, I realised, that to Isaac, I'd literally abandoned him without explanation! sighz.
I'm so sorry, Isaac. Sorry Mummy didn't warn you. Mummy is back now. Mummy won't leave again. Don't cry, Isaac. There's no need to cry. Mummy is back. Mummy loves you, you know. Even when Mummy's not around, Mummy loves you. Don't cry,ok? Mummy loves you very much. Who sayang Isaac? Mummy sayang Isaac. So Isaac don't cry, ok? Please don't cry. Mummy loves you. Don't cry, my Isaac. Please don't cry. Mummy loves you.