The next morning, I heard Little Miss' usual sweet baby babble in the monitor and her trying to talk to me. I always call myself "Mimi" so it doesn't confuse the babies when it comes to their bio moms, and Miss tried so hard to get that to come out. I would hear, "Mah-ay-eee-Mah-ay-eeee" every morning when she woke up and was ready for me to come get her. :-) I went up to get her, and she was all excited when she saw me (like she was every morning)... But as we headed downstairs, I saw her excitment over seeing her Mimi turn into dread as she remembered that The Squalling One had been there when she went to bed the night before.
As we headed down the stairs, Miss got very quiet and hesitantly peered around the corner looking straight to the rocking chair where my mom had been rocking Itty Bitty the night before. She looked at me questioningly, and I put her down. She proceeded to search the entire downstairs... living room, dining room, kitchen, my bedroom... She finally went to the crib where Bitty had been sleeping the day before, looked inside, and realized that Bitty was nowhere to be found. I honestly think if Little Miss could talk, she would have had the exact same reaction that the rest of had... "And she's outta here!" Instead, she turned around, looked at me, smiled, giggled a little bit, and ran up to me for hugs. :-)
Even though Bitty was away for the weekend, Little Miss still wasn't herself. She was okay as long as I was in the room. If she lost sight of me at all, she got hysterical. My mom, dad, and brother-in-law had come over to help me finish switching bedrooms with Miss. She was in her highchair eating lunch, and seemed interested in everything that was going on (as long as I was sitting in the chair next to her). The men were even able to coax a few smiles out of her (which was huge because Little Miss was terrified of men for the most part. I think she had finally seen my dad and brother-in-law enough to know that they weren't going to take her from her Mimi.)
My mom stayed to finish helping me move the small stuff, but it became clear that Miss still wasn't ready for me to leave her sight. I had tried to move a few things upstairs while my mom kept her occupied, but she was totally onto us. She would have a blast playing with my mom as long as she could see me and could come to "home base" (aka. Mimi) every couple of minutes for hugs. By my second trip upstairs, Miss was hysterical, back to rocking herself, and sobbing like crazy.
(Let me just interject here that no 12-month-old baby should be put in a position of feeling like they need to comfort themselves. When Little Miss first came to me, she spent more time rocking herself than she would allow me to rock her. She had no idea that she could relax into my arms when drinking a bottle because they had been feeding her by having her stand in front of them. It took three weeks to get her to a point where she no longer rocked herself over and over, to relax and let me comfort her... So the fact that after only a couple of hours with Itty Bitty in the house and Little Miss had completely reverted back to her old behavior just killed me.)
After my mom left, I promised Little Miss that for the rest of the weekend, it would be "just her and me." It took most of the rest of the day to convince her that things were back to "normal" for the time being, and that she could relax and be herself, but by Saturday evening, she seemed to be getting back to normal. I think the fact that she had a brand new bedroom directly off of the living room and easy access to all of her toys helped out quite a bit. :)
By that evening, Little Miss would disappear into her bedroom for short stretches of time and come running back out to give me hugs. I finally realized that she was getting back to normal when she had disappeared into her room for about 5 minutes and things got really quiet. If you've ever been the mother of a toddler, you know that silence is not always a good thing. I got up to check on her when I heard hysterical baby laughter coming from her bedroom. "Oh boy... What is she doing?" Fortunately, I was greeted by the happiest, most heart-warming sight that I'd seen in days...
Out of all of her toys and everything that she had to play with in her new room, Little Miss had discovered the laundry basket. She had dumped out all of the dirty clothes, turned the basket on its side, and proceeded to climb in and out, in and out, in and out... For the next 24 hours!!! She had apparently discovered the mecca of all toys. She was in smiles for the remainder of the weekend, and I was so happy that what was most likely going to be her last weekend with Mimi ended with smiles, lots of laughter, and big time hugs and cuddles from my favorite baby girl.
(Stay tuned for the conclusion of "My Wild Ride" - Coming soon...)