Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My kid is an inconvenience... and I sort of like it.


Well at least I do for now.

And to be fair, if it's a proper inconvenience then I'm not quite so convivial, but for the most part, I'm digging having a clingy kid.

About two weeks ago, my normally independent little gal started freaking out if I wasn't within touching distance. Well, sitting-on distance to be precise. She stopped playing by herself for reasonable stretches of time and needed me to be on hand 24-7. Which included the ceasing of the self-settling to sleep, and the insistence of sleeping actually on me. Which has done wonders for the housework, let me tell you.

Now I'm fully aware it probably has something to do with the stage she's at, some separation anxiety, some object permanence understanding (yeah I studied psychology, what of it?!!), some absorption of the changes that come with learning to walk, and having molars burst through tiny gums and a whole host of other reasons. And while it's meant an almost total about-face when it comes to our routine, I can see that at this moment in time, she needs me. And I'm so grateful that I have the ability and flexibility to follow her lead and give her what she needs.

Boy are the days long, though!

I have found that it's not really so bad to quit stacking the dishwasher halfway through because she's screaming for me to pick her up. Or that the bed doesn't get made because I can't leave the room and I forget to do it. Once I sit down and let her crawl all over me, she's happy and we play and I am sort of surprised that I'm happy to let other things slide. I'm also surprised at the extent of my patience! I haven't always been so chill. She's incredibly interactive these days, and I get a kick out of hearing her speak and watching her imitate me and others. So I sit on my toy-and-toast-crumb-strewn floor and sing songs and ask her over and over again how she is so I can hear her say "dood!"

Where did she learn that, by the way? I get she repeats "hi" when I say it, but when I follow it up with a "how are you?", HOW does she know to answer that and not just repeat me? Must've been hungover in that lecture.

And as for naps and nights, I'm totally enjoying the cuddles. She was never a cuddly baby, always preferring to sleep alone and crawl off doing her own thing. Now she rests her head on my chest, absentmindedly playing with her curls, content in knowing she's with her mama and all is right as she drifts off to sleep. I'm soaking that up because I don't know how long it will last. And considering I'm only having two kids, this is the only time in my life I will ever be able to do this. In five years the chances of that will be over and life goes back to non-baby-raising... I don't get this again. And when she cries in the night and I crawl into bed with her, she snuggles in and goes back to sleep. But the look of pure joy on her face in the morning when her tousled head and sleepy eyes thrust themselves into my vision with the excited slap of a pudgy hand just cannot be beaten. Sure I'm probably not ready to wake up just then and could do without the slap, but the happiness she feels at finding me next to her when she wakes up is priceless. Again... that's not going to happen when she's 15, so I'm getting my fill now. Well she might slap me, but I doubt it would be from excitement.

Don't get me wrong, there's still those things in the back of my head that we're creating bad habits, or I'm teaching her the incorrect way to sleep or I'm sending her the wrong signals. But for the most part I'm going with my gut. My gut says this is a phase and it will pass and it's what she (and me?) needs right now.

I may feel differently in another two weeks' time. I dare say things will change into a new normal at some point. But I like that at the moment I can't get anything done because my kid likes me so much she won't let me out of her sight.



32 comments:

  1. I think it's  a great way to get off your feet while you're pregnant! I agree, definitely milk the affection now. My son as a toddler was mostly too busy for cuddles, but then he'd go through stages like you talk about, and I always made the most of it. Now he's five, and I get the best hugs and blown kisses when I drop him off and pick him up from school. It's like falling in love all over again

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  2. Beautiful post xx

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  3. This is beautiful!
    If you have the time, and patience, cherish it.
    They grow up too fast, and you are right - you'll never get the time back.
    At least you realise this and are making the most of it
    xo

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  4. Thank you my darling. It was a lot of just musing... thinking out loud xx

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  5. I don't know how, but I am! I bet one day I'll be "OK I NEED TO DO SOME WASHING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SOMEONE TAKE THIS KID!"

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  6. Blimey we ar at the same stage, although with 2,5 year old. Ever since 4Yo spent time in and out of hospital the last few months, 2.5YO is clinging to me like a barnacle on a whales arse! And it is driving me insane!! Sleeping is becoming a problem too. Every night it takes us over an hour to get him to sleep. Last night we took a different calm, soothing, singing approach and it helped keep the house calm, even if it didn't hasten the sleeping process up a little. And I got to rock out Madonna's 'Live to Tell' which I haven't sung in full for aaaaages. Surprised I still know the words, but there you have it. Will deal with it for now. For now.  

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  7. Yes! For now. Because at one point singing "row row row your boat" will actually send me homicidal. I don't have the stress of hospital in the mix though, you must be EXHAUSTED.

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  8. My youngest (2 1/2 yrs old) still crawls into my bed at about 5am. It disrupts my sleep but it's an awesome feeling. He's my 4th and it never grows old.

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

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  9. I'm interested to see how Abby goes when she can walk AND figure out how to get to us at that hour! Will she be a snuggler? I sort of hope so!

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  10. My youngest is 5 and at kinder.  I am SO aware that this is it, no more babies and this is the last time all these things will be happening.    He used to crawl into bed with me every morning at about 5, but no more.  But, every night he "assumes the position" as my hubby says and crawls into my lap, strokes my hair and kisses my face. 
    Make the most of it I say, it is such a lovely age.  The learning to talk and walk is just beautiful.

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  11. sar - accidental lentilMay 9, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    what a great attitude. My bub is kinda the opposit to yours - she has spent most of her 14 months being incredibly clingy and never, ever, ever self settling, until the last couple of weeks when she turned around and was happy to self settle. she is still super cuddly and is a bit sick at the mo so i just rocked her to sleep because apparently the cot was terrifying! it seems that everything is a phase, there is no real normal that lasts for any great length of time. the clingy stages are beautiful but very tiring. take all the rests you can!!

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  12. I get loved slapped everyday. It's priceless, if not a little painful!

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  13. That's such a beautiful way to look at it, Stacey. And you know what? I've found that when my independent girl has those stages, if I just go with it and give her the attention she needs she actually moves on from it pretty quickly. (And then I lament having no cuddles!)

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  14. i am *blessed* with two (3 yo and 2o mo) all the time cuddlers. the little one is sick today and i have had a warm little body sleeping on me all day!   but it's true they may (more like WILL) one day out grow the cuddle time with mama so best enjoy it now. i love your matching shoes, so cute.

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  15. I was just saying to my husband how much we're going to be amazed at what she learns this year, between the ages of one and two. I can't wait to see what she does. And I hope I get plenty of hugs and kisses too!

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  16. Haha totally tiring, especially when growing another one. But I lay on the floor most of the time and am grateful for not having to get up haha. I have noticed that nothing ever stays static, so I tend not to get bogged down in stages because they always pass. Mostly to our surprise, right?!

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  17. I'm having to put a stop to the stomach-slapping, it's getting very tender down there! But the face... ah I can handle it haha xx

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  18. When I was pregnant with my second who is now almost one, I would sleep with her older brother while he had his day naps.  I cherish those times immensely.  Lovely post.

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  19. I think that's the thing that's been in the back of my mind, I just haven't verbalised it. I remember from attachment theory all those years ago when I read it that babies and children flourish more and are more independent when all needs have been met, rather than the other way around. Perhaps that's what has made up part of my instinct. So I'm pleased you're telling me this, because it makes me think I'm on the right track! I hope you're well, by the way :) xx

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  20. Oh my gosh, the Hello Kitty shoes. Aren't they adorable! I could hug her all day in them.

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  21. Thank you. I totally enjoy the rest it gives me! A hug never hurt either xx

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  22. You are not creating bad habits - unless learning that when I need my Mum I can rely on her to be there for me - is a bad habit. 

    Enjoy it!

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  23. this is a beautiful post. Don't you hate how even though you know you're doing the right thing and you're happy with it you still have those niggling doubts. I find it can be hard to strip away all the knowledge, opinions etc and sit comfortably with my instinct.

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  24. My son has always been clingy and still is with me if we're just together or out with people he doesn't know well but in the presence of his Daddy.  Pah!  I'm so last year dahling!  Enjoy it while it lasts before she's saying "No Mummy!" when you try and play with her.  Grump.

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  25. I loved this stage too! The talking, the snuggly touch... the crumbs can wait...

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  26. Grr. yes. But I know most of the time that I'm probably doing the right thing, but those agonising times when I'm not sure... UGH.

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  27. HAHA I can totally see that happening. She is such a daddy's girl.

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  28. Cherie @ a baby called MaxMay 14, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    We go through the same things, at the same time.

    Probably because our toddlers are in fact, of very similar ages.

    But I just love how you ... describe it all.

    Max is uber clingy at the moment, & there are some days where I handle it with a lot less grace than described in this post, but there are other days where I think, yep, these years will fly.  Bask in the squish.  Albeit, the clingy squish.

    Seriously loved this.

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  29. Dude, sometimes I have to leave her crying and go to the toilet and eat something before round two. And sometimes I have to find some grace to do it properly the second time.  Plus you  must be frigging exhuasted. I don't know how you function... I hope you get some sleep soon xx

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