Forward and Back

Petra's going through another bout of separation anxiety at the moment.  She gets quite upset if she doesn't know where we are and runs around the house yelling until she finds us again.  At the same time, she's testing her independence.  She's eager, for example, to walk around when we're shopping instead of being carried.  I remember where we were when we put her down for the first time, letting her have some freedom to move away from us, because it marked for me a whole new phase in the complicated dance of attachment and separation that we're doing as Petra develops.  We were in Office Max buying Travis an office chair and filing cabinet – an odd place for what was to me a significant moment. 

When she's done walking she wants me to carry her.  Travis will do, but it's me she really wants.  She puts her right hand down my top, rests it on my breasts, leans her head on my shoulder, and sucks her left thumb.  Now that I think about it, her new mobility and adventurousness, her newly-discovered separateness must be stressful and tiring as well as thrilling, so she really needs the comfort of being close to my body in between bouts of exploring.

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