Happy or Sad?

Is he under there?
Is he under there?

Little J and I are fending for ourselves at the moment while Andrew is enjoying sunnier climes in Barbados.

I’ve been really interested in what LJ may be feeling and thinking since Andrew has gone away. We get intermittent exclamations of DaDA! and I’ve been telling him the truth; that Daddy is at work ‘wuk’ and that he will be for some time, but isn’t Daddy lovely and won’t it be nice to see him soon. I was going to tell him about Daddy being in an aeroplane but I thought he might get confused and think every aeroplane was Daddy, or that Daddy was in an aeroplane for the whole time. I don’t know, I got confused!

Overall we are having a very lovely time. A steady flow of family visits is keeping the entertainment levels high. LJ has seemed quite content; having fun in the days, sleeping well (so far!) and settling happily at bed times.

I’m absolutely sure that LJ is aware of Andrew’s absence though and there are little things that make me sure he is missing him, even if he doesn’t know how to label his emotions or express them as we would.

We saw a lot of Andrew’s family this weekend and LJ was unusually overwhelmed. He got very excited when he heard people arrive at the house but then took longer than normal to ‘warm up’ to people and we even had some very out of character and quite heart breaking sobbing after people had been with him for a few minutes. I can only surmise that he was expecting Andrew and was then disappointed not to see him.

Today we Skyped…LJ was calm and very chatty to Andrew and not at all upset when we said goodbye. I later asked LJ whether seeing Daddy had made him happy or sad and he made his sad noise… I high fived LJ at breakfast yesterday and he immediately turned expectantly toward the kitchen door, hand outstretched…DaDA!…(LJ is very inclusive when it comes to congratulatory gestures!). Perhaps he had forgotten that ‘Daddy is at work’ or maybe he was gesturing in the general direction of outside. I like to think that in that moment LJ thought Andrew was hiding somewhere in the house, just biding his time for the perfect high five.

Hmmm it’s such a guessing game and one I’ve been trying so hard to play. I so want to respond to this separation well and ensure that LJ is equipped with the rationality and emotional intelligence to manage future separations. I wrote this blog post to get some clarity and actually I think what I really need to do is stop analysing it all so much.

Happy or sad? Well who knows, maybe a bit of both and that’s ok. LJ probably is happy, I am. But I’m also sad in that I’m missing Andrew. I’m happy that I’m missing him though, I would be sad if I wasn’t! Happy or sad is too clear cut a distinction to make….it’s too black and white for complicated emotions.

So I’m just going to keep muddling through with this period and, as for the state of Little J’s psyche…well I’ll really just have to wait and see!

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2 thoughts on “Happy or Sad?

    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment! Yes…it is so fascinating to try and work out their minds. That’s also part of the reason I get so much out of the toddlercalm work…I really like the sciencey brain bits! x

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