Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Stranger Danger!

It's official: Molly has Stranger Anxiety. Some sources say this is a 6-9 month thing, others say it develops between 3-6 months. Molly is 4 months, and she is certainly reacting to people other than her parents. "Stranger" could mean people she has spent lots of time with but not seen in a few days. Which is awkward for grandparents and such.

What does it mean? Well, it is part of the learning continuum with object permanence and separation anxiety, and understanding her separateness from us in general. These are all good things, but in the meantime, she needs a little extra time and suavity in approach.

So, if you're visiting, please don't try to swoop in and pick her up while making a bunch of exciting noises. Give her some time to adjust to you quietly on her own, and I'm sure she'll come around. Forcing the issue only makes it worse and more tiresome.

Oh boy! More work for us! It was so nice when we could just walk into the room and unceremoniously dump her into an open set of arms and lap.

She has lately developed high-maintenance habits in a delightful array of areas, such as:
  • No longer happy to eat whatever, she now wants bottles. Except, she screams and resists that she doesn't want them at all. Until you trick her into eating, and then she voraciously sucks down a bottle. Unless she is distracted by noise, or stuff to look at, including a blank wall, in which case she twists and turns and fusses and is generally impossible to feed.
  • I used to be able to put her down for the night without a pacifier. No more. I don't care about the pacifier, except that every time it falls out, she screams and needs someone to put it back in. This is a terrible habit, that I wish she had not been allowed to develop.
  • Rolling. She is a rolling machine. Mostly back to front. Often gets stuck on her tummy. This is adorable. Besides the fact that rolling and getting stuck on her belly makes her squawk, this is of course a high-maintenance development because OMG we can't walk away from her anymore. She will end up in the fireplace.
  • She can grab things now. Which is awesome, but it means there is this mysterious hand constantly stealing her binkie from her mouth, and she wonders, loudly, what the hell is going on, and who stole her binky.