For anyone who thinks attachment issues ever really end:
Miss I's surgery was more than a week ago, and she's been feeling much better, but she's also been crying . . . and screaming . . . and waking during the night. She's refused her favorite babysitter's attention on a visit, and asked a friend of mine to take this dictation: "Dear Momma, I want S. to go home" while I was in the room but S. was (intending to be) playing with her.
But nothing compares to the manifestness of the expression of her anxiety in preschool. I've even been staying in preschool to ease the transition, which is how I know.
Her teacher brought out the play doctor's kit in part because so many of the children were curious about her surgery and hospitals and this would deflect attention from Miss I's surgery specifically and perhaps give her a space to explore her feelings. Explore she did. Miss I took the role of doctor, had her teacher K become the patient. When she gave K a pretend shot in the arm, she leaned in, and with menace, said "Now you're never ever ever ever gonna see your Momma again." K said brightly, "I know my Momma always comes for me," to which Miss I replied in a sing-song voice with mock disbelief "O-Kaaaaaaay."