Right from the start, The Husband and I believed in saying our goodbyes and pre-empting Anya before we go off to anywhere without her.
We think that by doing so can aid in raising a secured child. Disappearing acts may result in suspicion leaving the child wondering when we will appear again when we are away. There may well be repercussions where she will be even more 'sticky' when we appear once again. On the other, long and gushy goodbyes may over-dramatize the departure causing the child to be over-sentimental. So, we thought this is a good balance where she is trained to take departures well, knowing that secured love goes beyond constant physical attachment.
When she was two months old, I started leaving her at The In-laws once or twice a week. Even then, where she was still a sleepy dazed teeny baby, I have began my goodbye routines. No disappearing acts. Nor drama-rama farewells. Just a simple kiss and hug, then I tell her roughly what time Daddy and Mommy will be back for her. Even up till today, we still maintain the same routine, except that it is more elaborate now that we need her to reciprocate and acknowledge our departure.
Sure, there were a few rare occasions where it did not go so well. Still, nothing that a few more hugs and words of reassurances can't solve. After some tears and fussing, she eventually relented, giving us her flying kisses and waving her goodbyes.
These days, informing her of our departures has extended to even short toilet breaks and bath-times. Sometimes, she does not take it well, especially when there is only The Helper and I around - which means that she will be left alone with The Helper when Mommy's in the bathroom. Again, she usually gives her nod of approval after one or two more tries.
We think we will carry on this parental belief onto No. 2 - even if it makes us feel like primary school children asking for permission to go to the toilet all over again.