Monday, November 17, 2008

Mummy's Boy

I have been aware for some time that if P wakes up at night, he generally calls out "Mummy! Here!" in preference to "Dadda, here!" which is, in one way, lovely- he relies on me to feel good, but it would be nice if he shared it around a bit, once or twice. He's generally becoming more demonstrative with his demands as well- during the day he will call out "Here!" if he wants you to come to him, rather than just the "Mamma" echolocation technique (He yells 'Mamma' and I say 'Ye-es' until he locates me) and just recently he has started to pull or push me in the direction he wants me to go. For example, we were at a lovely new park and I was sitting on a bench having a break when he ran up to me and started pulling at my pants, trying to get me off the bench; yesterday I decided to lie down on the couch and he put his hand under my head trying to lift it up; and finally, MrT took him to daycare yesterday, and when he realised I wasn't getting in the car he pointed urgently at the passenger's seat and called out "Mummy! Mummy! Here!"(point point)"HEE-YARR!" and apparently was in tears until they drove past the local hippodrome when he was distracted by Neighs (horses).

But last night was a total shocker- He howled for a good hour after I put him to bed and the woke about 45 minutes later and took a further hour and a half to go back to sleep. Normally, when he wakes and calls out, all he wants you to do is come in, say hi, stroke his hand or his face for a moment or two and then he'll push your hand away and you can walk away without tears. Not last night. He wanted to hold my hand. I thought it so unusual that I thought maybe something extraordinary had happened- he'd had a nightmare or he felt unwell, so I sat by his cot holding his hand until his breathing became slow and regular, thinking he'd be asleep. Nope. The minute I stood up he opened his eyes and started howling again.

I love it that when we are out we no longer have to always take the stroller if we are only going a short distance because he'll hold my hand and chat away to me (coming back from the supermarket Sunday we saw a Plane AND a Nee-Nah (ambulance) which caused much (mainly incomprehensible) chatter. He will hold my hand to cross a road. He won't wander too far away at a playground- he always checks to see I'm in view. These are all good things.

But when does clinginess become pathological?

The range of activities I can safely do at home is narrowing down dramatically, as he wants me present and participating in almost all aspects of his playtime. I used to be able to blog, read and send emails and write reports, sew, cook, do washing, hang out the washing and do basic housework, read a book or journal article or do some minor repairs (eg gluing something back together) but no more. I love it that he's growing up, changing, talking, running, jumping, interested in the world around him and he wants me to be a part of all of this- this joy at seeing him grow and develop, become his own little person with a sense of humour (slapstick and sight gags), personality (independant, curious and loving) and growing internal understanding of how the world works (I love to watch him try to figure something out- like how to fit his stacking cups together, how a clothes peg works, pouring water from one cup to another). It gives me so much pleasure that I couldn't imagine doing it only once- that and a deep seated biological urge were the two things that really made me want to have a V2.0 (and maybe even a v3, but that will be by negotiation with MrT and the college).


I didn't really expect motherhood to be so much a process of loss. Loss of independance I expected to some degree, but not nearly to the extent that it is. Loss of identity. Loss of expectation of what I could achieve. Loss of time on a daily basis.

Perhaps I was naiive. Perhaps I still am (Ok, I definitely still am). But some days I just want my old life back.

And then I see his smiling face and am plastered with a big, wet, tonguey kiss, and I know that there's more to life than what I can do as an individulal- what I can achieve as a team with my son is so much grander.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was always impressed that you managed to get stuff done. i never have since the twinkle was born.

19/11/08 01:41  
Blogger E, SS and the Little Man said...

Great update. Great post! The clinginess is unbearable, and sometimes feels pathological to me too. I know one day we will look back and probably long for them to want to be in our arms every 5 minutes, but it is SUCH a chore right now. Meanwhile, poor Maria is aching for him to want her that much. Not damn fair for either of us!

19/11/08 20:37  

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