This morning, Ellie played with the kids instead of staying with me at our moms’ group at church. I went in to check on her several times, primarily to check if she needed to use the potty but really, as much for me to make sure that she was OK. And she was fine. She had a great time and actually used the potty with someone else for the first time in her life too.
I was just across the hall from her and we can hear everything that goes on (i.e. if any babies are crying), so I was pretty sure that she was fine. But wow, it was hard for me to just leave her there. I wanted to go over and convince her that she wanted to be with me more than with those fun kids! But the truth is, she was ready to stay there this time.
This was the third time that she had told me she wanted to play with the kids instead of staying with me. Each time, I told the caregivers to come get me for anything – even if Ellie seemed happy but just asked for me. The first time she lasted for 45 minutes and last week she only lasted for five minutes. But today, she just played and played and didn’t even want to come with me at the end of the two hours!
My plan is to take each week as it comes – always asking and never assuming that Ellie wants to play with the kids rather than be with me.
So yes, Ellie is growing up, she’s maturing, and I have to do a bit of that letting go and growing up myself as a mother.
I wrote here about our decision to keep Ellie close to us for as long as she needed to be. In that, I wrote, “When’s she’s ready, she will tell us.” At that time, I was anticipating that she would tell us in words. Currently, Ellie does most of her communicating with very few words and today she told me with her body that she wanted to play with the kids. Each time, I went in to check on her, I said, “OK Ellie. I’m going over to the other room. Do you want to play with the kids or come with Mama?” Each time, she chose to stay. So, I am confident that she was ready and I’m glad that she was able to tell me so, even if she didn’t say so in words. Now I just have to convince myself that I’m ready for it too!