This is the face of anxiety.
It might not look like it, but we are having a turbulent period of separation issues.
It has been so bad at times that he would not even let his own 25 year old sister babysit for him. Saying goodbye to mum involved sweaty palms and a heart-wrenching “Mummy, my heart is beating really fast”. Hard to hear.
It ranges from following mummy around the house or calling out “I love you”, just to check that mummy is still there, to rejecting invitations to tea with school friends unless his 100 questions about whether we know where they live and vice-versa can be satisfactorily answered before he can be persuaded to venture out.
Sleep has also become an issue, or rather being left alone in the bedroom, is an issue. It was not so 6 months ago.
There are no ‘incidents’ to which we can pinpoint the start of this anxiety. No bereavements, no absences, no serious illness, no trauma. And even though we have parented 3 older children between us, neither of us have experienced this new challenge before.
Perhaps this is mother nature at work? Has my tiny baby reached the point in his evolution at just 6 years old where he is aware that the world is a serious place? Life can be fraught with danger – people die and accidents happen. It breaks my heart to think that my little guy has a mortal fear of losing me or being lost, so perhaps the test is one of endurance for the time being. Maybe it is a passing phase. Let’s hope it passes soon.