Monday, November 10, 2008

(In)dependent woman


So I thought that 2 year olds were supposed to be getting more independent as they got older?

I remember around the time that David was born, I think I even said out loud, "Katy's gotten so independent. She plays by herself and does so many things for herself." But not anymore. Pretty much all day long I hear a continuous mantra of, "Mommy, color wis me. Mommy, read books wis me. Mommy, up, up, up!!! Mommy, do blocks wis me. Mommy, up, up, up!! Mommy, come sit down on da carpet. Mommy, up, up, up!!"

And it's not like I don't play with the child. I really am doing the best I can to give her some individual attention during the day, and make sure that I'm playing with her and giving her some structured things to do. But I do have another child to take care of, a job to do, and a house to maintain as well, you know? So I basically feel guilty ALL. DAY. LONG. Because every time she asks me to do something with her, it makes me feel like obviously I'm not paying her enough attention, or I'm making the wrong things a priority. It's a pretty horrible feeling.

And the "up, up, up!!" is the weirdest part. Katy has never wanted to be held. Even as an infant, she had to be held facing out because she wouldn't get comfy otherwise. But all of the sudden over the last couple of months, she is constantly asking me to pick her up. And if I can't, she gets hysterical, so sometimes I find myself with a baby on each hip, walking around my own house thinking, "Is this for real?"

So has anyone else had a 2 year old go through a phase like this? Or is this the new normal for her? I know that someday I'll look back and long for the time that she wanted to be around me, but how do I find the balance between cherishing her and maintaining sanity? Am I a terrible mother for even asking the question? Oh, just look at this face. Yes, I'm a terrible mother for asking the question.


Pam said...

This is hilarious Emily!!! Jack's the same and I'm so glad I'm not the only one that feels like this. The second we leave the house to walk Cody, he wants "up". Carrying a 30 lb child right now is hard but I grunt and wheeze and make myself do it because I feel guilty (sound familiar?)
I say the same thing as you - I need some space but am trying to cherish these moments before he completely blows me off.
Let me know if you find a solution!!

Erin said...

YES! And also, YES!


I think as they get older, they simply want to interact more. Calum is more interested in CONVERSING than in just listening to me talk, or in just having me listen. He is always wanting me to "make him talk" with his toys, to partake in his imagination play.

He also is always asking me to carry him. Which LORDY. The boy weighs like 38 pounds! I think, for us, that is more about a struggle with his brother over getting more attention.

Kate said...

I'm with Erin-- Colin demands a lot of attention. Part of me thinks I should lock him in his room with toys and FORCE him to play by himself for 15 minutes. But the other part of me says that he's been at school all day, with lots of kid interaction but not much adult interaction. I think I do a fair amount of playing with him-- making toys talk, coloring or cutting, reading, playing with planes, etc. But when I get "too" good and entertaining, he get's really obnoxious and clingy. So I don't know the answer...

Charity said...

Sometimes I feel terribly guilty that I could not possibly ever give Ella the attentiont that Jack got or even Sam got. Especially trying to juggle school for Jack and housework and taking care of a sick kid.
What's going to happen when #4 comes?

However, sometimes I realize that Ella is getting something that Jack never got as a two year old: attention and influence from two older brothers. It's so amazing to me what she learns from them and all the language she picks up from them. (And she knows how to fight with a lightsaber!)

I think the guilt will always get to me, but I can only be what I can be to each of them. I love them all so much for who they are and it's so awesome to see how different they all are. It's also so fun to see how they all interact and how much they love each other. (Fights aside. But actually, they are learning from their fights too.)