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Attached at the hip…literally. The start of toddler separation anxiety.
Over the last month or so, my son’s personality has really blossomed. It’s so amazing to see him think, process, and discover the world around him. He is his own person, with his own thoughts and feelings. He’s also incredibly smart! He knows where the dishes go when we empty the dishwasher, he knows where his clothes go when we put away laundry, he’s understanding more and more every day and it’s absolutely beautiful and amazing to watch.
With this, though, the separation anxiety has begun. He wants my attention constantly. I can’t leave the house without him crying (if he’s not with me). Last night, I started the C25K program (oh boy do I need to get in shape) and he was crying as he watched me head out the door. He used to get so excited when Grandma came over to babysit, but now – he sees her and he knows it means that I’m leaving. Granted, everyone tells me that it only lasts a minute or two and then he’s fine, happy even, playing with dad or Grandma or whomever while mommy is away. He just hates it when mommy leaves.
This I can handle. I’m okay with this, especially since he doesn’t cry the whole time I’m gone. What’s tough is the clingy behavior that has started when we are both at home. My dear darling son thinks that I have to hold him every second of every day – unless he’s sleeping. I was lucky in that for months and months he was very independent. He would sit down with his books and look through them for what seemed like hours, hardly even looking up to make sure that I was still around. I used to joke that I could probably leave and go shopping, come home, and he’d be in the same place looking at his books…just where I left him. (Obviously I never would have.)
But those days are gone, long gone. I can’t cook dinner, do laundry, or even go to the bathroom without holding him. If I’m not, the screams ensue. For a while, I tried the whole ignoring technique, thinking it was a tantrum and when he realized it wasn’t getting him anywhere, he’d give up. Nope…this kid does NOT give up. He just cries and screams and pulls at my legs – I’m pretty sure he’d do it for hours. So, my only option is to wear him. It’s not always possible, but I find that I can do most things while wearing him on my hip in a ring sling. He’s recently decided that he’s not so happy being worn on my back unless we are out for a walk – so in the house, I’ve got to use the ring sling. Even then, he still has times where he’s screaming, but for the most part it seems to work when I need to get something done, or get dinner started. Other than that, I have to be sitting down with him in my lap, playing.
What is this? Has he just decided that he’s afraid mommy’s always going to leave him so he HAS to be held by me at all times? Do most babies go through this, or do I just have an extra-attached boy? He went through this a month or two ago and it only lasted a couple of days. This time, it seems like it’s here to stay – for a while, anyway. Every now and then he’ll get side tracked and play on his own for a few glorious minutes, but then it’s back to wanting momma.
I feel so bad for my husband because when he’s home, he mostly only wants to come to me – but he’s been great about it. He’s also been okay with the fact that I don’t always have dinner going when he gets home from work, and has been awesome about helping cook. (He doesn’t expect it, I swear, but he gets home late from work so I like to have dinner ready and made if I can so he can get a little time with C before bedtime.) So, for now I’m trying to keep telling myself that this is just a phase, and to enjoy the cuddles and together-time, because I know it won’t last forever. Now that it’s nicer outside, we’ve been getting out for walks which he loves. Sometimes, it’s hard though to know that the house is messy and I just can’t have a few minutes to straighten up. It’s also tough making lunch or dinner, or hitting the bathroom when you’ve got a screaming toddler. But, I love him more than anything, and I know this won’t last forever! Right?
April 17, 2013
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