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Friday, 21 October 2016

Me and my shadow: The clingiest kid in town

Me and my shadow: The clingiest toddler in town

I'm aware I've done a lot of moaning about my son lately.

I'm would apologise, but that is basically what this blog is for. I don't make money out of it, it eats up the majority of my very limited spare time, it's way more complicated than I ever anticipated, but it's a place I can moan. It's cathartic, it's my therapy.

Don't get me wrong; of course, I love my kids. Lots. The most. They're the best little people in the world. It's just that, like every other mum on the planet (and if you disagree you're lying or you're Topsy and Tim's mum) I don't necessarily like them every single moment of every day.
He has so many good qualities. He has awesome hair, and is unbelievably cute. He's bright, he tries to do everything himself and he even likes to tidy up. He eats whatever he's given (so far). But he is crap at napping, and is a whingebag too. To make the hat trick, he's also really clingy.

I hate the term 'clingy' when referring to babies.

All babies are clingy. Their parents are all they know and all they need. It doesn't mean that it's easy, or fun (it's not fun), but it is what it is. However, I now know what it means to have a clingy toddler and it is hard work. Not being able to answer the door to the Ocado delivery man without an epic meltdown occurring is draining stuff.
We thought that maybe he should start going to a childminder.

So far, he's gone for about two hours a week. It's not a lot, but the idea is that as well as helping him to get used to not being by my side 24 hours a day (literally), and giving my ears a much-needed break, I can gradually take on a bit more work and eventually become a fully-functioning member of society again...  I do love stay at home mum life, but it's not brilliant financially, and it's definitely easier to work when you don't have a small person bashing the computer screen with a magnetic rocket, as I do right at this moment.

To be honest, it's not going as well as I'd hoped.

I thought, based on the two weeks that I went back to work, he would manage to surprise me and pull it out of the bag. Not so. The separation anxiety is strong. So far, he has whinged and/or cried the entire time, starting from the moment we enter the house. On the bright side, I suppose at least I don't have to listen to it.
Now this is no stranger; we are using the same childminder that previously picked up and dropped off his older sister twice a week from before he was born until she started pre-school in September. You'd think that passing familiarity might count for something... But no. What it does mean is the big one throws a tantrum when we leave because she isn't allowed to stay, so I get a double whammy of the mum guilt. Spiffing.

It is completely and utterly different to my first experience of leaving the big one at the same age with the very same childminder to skip off to work. She too had never experienced life outside of mummy and daddy, and yet upon being left for the first time she took it all in her stride and when I went back to work full time, she adapted perfectly.

She was a very different child indeed.

OK so her sleep was crap for the six months or so (one word: reflux), but she really was a delightful baby with an excellent temperament. Yes, I realise that makes her sound like a puppy; she was like a happy little puppy. Once she got the hang of it she liked to nap for hours and never once tried to escape from the cot. She smiled at strangers until they smiled back, and it wasn't until a respectable 17 months or so that she started having public meltdowns and began to morph into the stubborn wilful teenager toddler we have today.

It was her happy-go-lucky nature that made us think a second baby would be a good idea. Damnit. Oldest trick in the book.
Said second baby.
Whingelet number two is not as easy going a child. He's cute, he's clever, but he does not enjoy a nap. He is no puppy. Unless it's one of those puppies that gets his head stuck in everything, whinges constantly and flaps his arms and screams when he wants (or doesn't want) something and then throws himself off a chair. It continually amazes me how two siblings that have the same genetic make up and the same parenting can be so entirely different.

It could be a boy/girl thing. It could be a first/second child thing. It could just be the way they are. 

Now it would of course be easier to admit defeat and take him out of childcare. I do after all have the luxury of choice; many do not. But I so desperately want him to get on well. It would be so nice to occasionally have some time to myself even if it is just to work. If it went really well I might be able to get my hair done; hell, I might even be able to go to the gym, although let's be honest, I most probably wouldn't.

We'll keep trying, and if necessary, I may have to buy the childminder ear plugs too, but we will get there. We will. He will conquer his separation anxiety, because Maman has just been invited to attend a three-day conference in Paris at the end of November, with travel and fancy hotel included... and I'm going whether he likes it or not.

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  1. Ooh conference sounds very exciting (purely because it is Paris!) I havr a very clingy toddler. I think it is a boy thing! It has improved since we started him at nursery. 14-20 months was very intense. If I left the room for a second it was full on melt down! No lie ins for me as I couldn't sleep through the screaming and worse thing is the reflux means if he cries for more than a couple of minutes he is sick! It has improved though hugely so keep going!!!

  2. My son can go from being the clingiest kid in the world to literally not wanting to be anywhere near me. I don't know whether I'm coming or going in all honesty. #chucklemums

  3. Oh are two are as different as two can be...and yes, they both still co sleep with us. 6 and 8 years is what i'm saying...oh for a good nights sleep and a night out with the Mrs. Oy vey! #chucklemums

  4. The twins go on and off with the cling. Problem is one is in the stage while the others explored sweet freedom...and then they switch. Someone is always in an annoying phase I swear. Now I have four daughters under nine so cling, whine and no sleep are like the ugly cornerstones of my life right now.


  5. Oh godddd, the whiney, clingy toddler noise where they don't say anything but just groan is the worst, I know what you mean about giving your ears a rest! No naps is not okay, George used to be great but I think he's starting to outgrow them - no-one warned me how utterly grumpy it would make him though!! We'll have to start a #nonaptoddler support group x #chucklemums

  6. I've got a clingy one too - my back is knackered from having to carry her around everywhere because she wants to be physically attached to me at all times. Now that she's nearly a year and a half, it's lot really practical to lug her around anymore, but I'd rather destroy my spine than listen to the whinging. #chucklemums

  7. So true... What is a baby supposed to do... Just say "no actually mother I've got this let me handle myself"! 😂😂 totally know how it feels to have a clingy toddler though..feel your pain ❤️ #chucklemums

  8. There's cling ons on the starboard bow starboard bow etc etc. You are probably too young to remember that song! My youngest was a real clinger but it doesn't last. Topsy and Tims Mum is an android fo sho #chucklemums

  9. So far, the baby is substantially less clingy than the toddler ever was, however she's also more violent and likes to slap / scratch / headbutt me. Not sure if that's better or worse than limpet behaviour, tbh. #chucklemums

  10. My first was independent, my second, my god, clingy doesn't describe her. I love hugging her, but I have other things to do sometimes where I need two hands! #chucklemums

  11. Our little one is pretty independent most of the time unless he's feeling under the weather in which case he's the exact opposite! Funny things are little people! #chucklemums

  12. You must persist! It won't, it can't go on forever. Can it? It took us a good couple of months to get into our routine once I returned to work, but I went full-time straight off the bat at the 10m mark, so he was thrown in the deep end and had to adapt quickly! Good luck! #chucklemums


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