Well rather, ‘it’s not mummy, it’s some strange-smelling lady’. Shine put on her first display of separation anxiety last weekend. Until now she has been happy to go to anyone. She loves being held but hasn’t really been fussed about who was doing the holding.
Now, I can think of many people who wouldn’t have taken offence at being passed a perfectly calm baby who within seconds turns into a screaming, shaking wreck. Bird, who has experienced it already when Sun was a baby. The grumpy Health Visitor at my GP surgery. A very understanding friend who has a baby the same age. They wouldn’t have taken it personally. But, no, who did Shine choose as the unlucky person? My mother in law.
The poor woman lives hundreds of miles away and has only seen Shine a couple of times since she was born so she was banking on getting lots of cuddle time while she was visiting.
The first time it happened I really thought Shine was hurt in some way. Her scream was just like the scream babies do when you’ve accidentally bent their tiny little finger trying to get an awkward cardigan on. Perfectly happy baby Shine goes into mother in law’s arms and all is well for 30 seconds before….waaaaaaaaaaa…almighty screams, big fearful eyes and tears streaming down her face. I rush to take Shine off her and calm her down.
After Shine has a feed and a little nap my mother in law is keen to have another try. I hand her over and again, tick, tick, tick, scream! It’s really as if she is truly terrified, and she is. She’s terrified of her grandmother.
I, of course, make things worse. As I scrabble to take Shine back and calm her I put my foot in it and say, ‘sorry, she’s not been like this with anyone else before.’ Great, now it seems as if I’m saying it’s specifically my mother in law rather than a passing phase. Woops.
Lucky for me my mother in law is lovely and didn’t pursue a third attempt. That could have been very embarrassing. There’s nothing worse than having an awkward moment where you wrestle with somebody over your clearly upset baby. Why do people want to hold a distressed baby anyway? I know for me at the first hint of a lip quiver I’m keen to pass that baby back.
I really hope that the next time my mother in law visits Shine is up for cuddles or this could get embarrassing!