Separation Anxiety & Stranger Danger

For a long while Joe and I thought that maybe Caden didn’t care for us too much. We assumed he loved us, but as far as needing us emotionally, he was rather indifferent. All kidding aside, at around 7 months we thought that for sure he would start to show signs of separation anxiety, but that never happened.  We also thought that he would have a sense of “Stranger Danger” as so many of the books and articles we read told us he would and that too never happened. 

Fast forward to today and Caden is FINALLY showing signs of separation anxiety and as any good parents would do, we are relishing in it! We LOVE separation anxiety! I know, you think we are horrible people, but I think that when you are away from your child for so many hours throughout the week you want to know that your child actually likes you, wants you, needs you. I am sure that many working parents can relate to us. Here is an actual text message exchange between Joe and me that occurred last week when Joe dropped Caden off at daycare:

Joe: Caden didn’t want to me go….

Liz: Awwww…break your heart. I want to cry when he’s like that.

Joe: Not really, I kind of liked it 🙂

What’s so funny about this conversation is that I do feel badly when Caden is feeling this way, but I also secretly love it.  I think this is one of those things that fall under the category of; “I’m ashamed to even say this, but….”

As working parents we have this continual guilt thing going on in our heads and while separation anxiety can be stressful it validates you as a parent….I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough and Doggone it, Caden Loves Me!

Now, what we really need to work on is teaching Caden about stranger danger. We recently came to the conclusion that if you are a male over the age of 50 and even slightly resemble either his Papa or Opa you are in trouble, because this kid of ours will hunt you down, flash you one of his charming smiles and go in for the pick-me-up reach up. It’s adorable while also concerning.  Caden especially took to a grandpa-like figure at his first baseball game last Saturday and this very sweet gentleman kindly obliged. 

I remember one time my Mom asking a woman at Marshall Fields to “steal” my sister to see if my sister would leave with a stranger and sure enough she did, unfortunately for me the woman returned her back to us. From that point on every time we left the house I would wonder if today would be the day that Mom would ask someone to “steal” Melissa again, it never happened. I’m still +2 sisters.  I don’t think I would ask someone to “steal” my child, because it’s not 1987, but I think additional reading on stranger danger is in my near future.


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