Saturday, November 17, 2007

Stranger Anxiety

Over the last week, Hannah Mai has developed a new fear: “strangers.” I put it in quotations because it doesn’t have to be a true stranger. It can be a family member or friend, just someone other than mom or dad. She is very vocal about this fear as well – screaming for upwards of an hour, non-stop, with the power of her trumpet-like vocal chords. According to several resources I’ve researched, it’s common for babies to develop this fear anywhere between 5-8 months of age. Hannah fell right into the statistic.

I remember in the past when I’d see a kid freaking out about his/her parents leaving, I didn’t quite understand. What was this kid’s problem? Why was he/she so dramatic? Do the parents never let him/her stay with someone else so they don’t develop such an issue? There I go again. Judging everyone but my own heart. Part of me thinks it is because I’m a stay at home mom that makes it harder for Hannah to go to strangers. But then, she’ll easily go to James and he works very hard and very often – away from home. So then I say, maybe the “experts” are right on this one.

If nothing else, this episode has caused me to look inward. It has reminded me that I’m not as smart as I sometimes think I am and I don’t know it all either. It reminded me to offer grace to those around me when I don’t understand their way of dealing with problems. It points me to Christ as I know no where else to look for wisdom.

Please pray for my patience over the next few months. Supposedly this anxiety lasts until about nine months of age. It’s very easy for me to get frustrated when Hannah Mai won’t cooperate with others. I know I will struggle as she continues to freak out and not stay in the nursery at church or with the babysitter on our date night. On the positive side, it shows me that she loves me and I can meet her needs. That is a nice feeling.

Until next time…

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