I have a two-year-old girl who would become very sad when her mother left. I had her mother stay a little longer and had her come back early the first couple weeks. When mom left, though, she would cry. I acknowledged her feelings and I remember holding her up to our window so we could watch the squirrels gathering winter food and then disappearing. She talked through her tears about the squirrel going in the backyard out of sight. We would talk about how sad she felt missing her mother.
Last week, there was a turning point. It began with me asking her to help me wash the cups after snack.
After washing the cups, though, she was sad again. We went over to the drawing table. I thought maybe would could draw together. Before I could even introduce making marks together, another two-year-old from the room came over and reached out to hold her hand.