Exit Strategy

I have a bad habit of writing misleading titles so I feel compelled to quickly confess. No, this is not a political post about getting out of the wars in the Middle East without leaving an unnerving situation; rather, it’s a family-friendly post about getting out of the house without leaving an unnerving situation.

After about 13 months of “granny-nannyhood,” even though I shouldn’t have been, I was caught by surprise as Charlie began to object to my departure at the end of the day. At first, while positioned in my daughter’s arms as she stood at the front door, he would wave as he watched me get into my car. I know he was smiling – even laughing a bit, but my daughter would tell me that after I left he would become “very cranky” and a bit unmanageable.

The cranky phase morphed into the “I am seriously sad” phase, in which he would maintain a poker face as I walked out the door – no waving, definitely no smiling.  At this point, I decided to change my exit strategy. I would kiss him good-bye while he was otherwise occupied in another room and leave without uttering a word. This seemed to work well… for awhile.

Today was different. As I put on my jacket, getting ready to leave for the day, Charlie followed me to the door. He clung to my pants leg saying, “Baboom! Baboom!”  (These are the “words” he uses as a cue for me to take him into the patio room to see the balloons – which I do at various times during the day.) I am not good at refusing a smiling baby boy who is begging to be picked up for a tour of the patio room –  so off we went.

When we got back to the front door, with my daughter standing close by, I put Charlie down. Then he began to repeat the same scenario. I looked at my daughter with pleading eyes – my back and shoulder were just not up to it.  Then she illuminated the situation for me, “He just doesn’t want you to leave!”

Well, it seems I’d better think a bit more strategically from now on, since it appears my 15.5 month old grandson already has!

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