Calista, 7 months old, October 2008
Cali has just discovered the cat, much to Oli's disgust.

I am very good with allowing my babies to cry. Visitors may retell how I can sit calmly in the living room when a baby is wailing in a far-off room, and I simply ignore it. I can discern the girls’ cries: pain, I-didn’t-get-my-way, tired, hungry, frustrated, etc.

When Calista is playing and gets grizzly, I can leave her to wail until I have finished whatever I was doing and can attend to her. If she is crying from the cot, I am perfectly capable to leaving her if I think she needs more sleep.

So I’m up against a sneaky, new strategy from my baby-tactician. When I hear the anxious cry from Calista, it tugs at my heart, giving me a yearning, a desire to run to her and pick her up. This cry is a call to my core in a special language that says, “I only want you!” And I am susceptible every time.

At the pool this afternoon, Cali was happy until I had to leave her to walk a couple meters away to give something to the girls. Then she cried. Rosie immediately picked her up, but I knew that Cali was calling to me… so I returned.

Eek! Where is my self-control? Where are my strong, long-sighted parenting skills?

My only hope is that this separation anxiety passes quickly — before it has bested me.