There is a term known as a ‘velcro baby’. It can be defined as a small human who’s life’s purpose is to remain close to it’s Mother, unable to venture out into the wild: The ‘wild’ comes in different forms- within it’s home but a different room to Mother, or in a public gathering where mature humans meet or even places where Mothers bring their small humans to integrate with each other. The velcro baby sticks to it’s Mother, refusing to separate itself, going into an attack mode when another mature human tries to remove it. It leaves Mother feeling physically hot, bothered and frustrated and wishing her velcro baby would be a mature human sooner than later.
My DD used to have long phases of being a velcro baby and now she has formed into a velcro TODDLER 😱 (part-time).
I know that if a child is clingy it means that they have a healthy attachment to their Mother and I know that is a good thing and we should even entertain this behaviour.
It doesn’t stop me feeling sometimes overwhelmed by her neediness to me, and her tantrums when I leave her to go somewhere or even leave the room. I find myself scratching my head when I go online and read some mum forums (as we all do) and find that mums are happy about this behaviour and think it’s cute! ‘The other day my rose petal daughter followed me to the toilet and sat outside and waited for me to come back. It’s so lovely!’ Am I a monster for thinking it’s not that amazing 🙈?
Sometimes I love that she loves me, and that she wants to be around me all the times, but when you can’t even go to the kitchen to feed yourself, or speak on the phone, or go to the toilet alone, or even sit on your own at times, it’s hard to see past that (before you storm off this page and think I am an awful person, read the last section).
When We Are At Home You would think that being at home, where my DD lives, sleeps, has access to all her toys and a range of activities, she would be independent and can get on with her life with no fear of any surprises or of me leaving her (I’m in my pyjamas for goodness sake).
Of course she plays with the toys she has access to and enjoys the range of activities that are provided for her- but only if I’m in the room with her. If I attempt to leave the room, whether it be to go the bathroom, or the kitchen to eat, or even just to go and get something (you know, normal things that we as adults should be able do as part of our human rights) she either cries for me to come back or follows me and whines and pleads for me to pick her up.
At times when I manage to escape triumphantly, as soon as she realises I’m gone, she prowls around the house, hunting me down, calling out my name (my name is Mummy). If she doesn’t find me she panics and starts crying. Its like, where does she think I’m going to go? I actually have to hide. I am a 28-year-old grown woman and I hide from a two year old 😑. So many times it has been that she’d become so hysterical when I go to the toilet that I return to her a scream ‘I’M HEREEE!!’
At times my husband relieves the pressure when he comes home from work because he is the fun parent and she’s excited to see him. But at other times, his presence makes her cling to me even more dramatically, as she knows that is when I’m going to go to start living my life (by ‘living my life’ I mean do anything which doesn’t involve her, such as walking to my bedroom solo, or maybe even to have a shower if I’m feeling especially hard-done-by).
My SS, who is now 6 months (❤💃🏽) amidst mine and my DD’s show downs, watches calmly like an angel, probably thinking ‘give me 6 months, I’ll model this behaviour’ 😱 (he does have his clingy moments now and then).
When we Go Out. Me, my husband, my SS and my DD often all out as a family (we are like some tight-knit gang who does everything together). Sometimes my husband is the complete apple of her eye, because he is so much funner than me, so she follows him around and allows him to throw her in the air, or chase her around or get on the back of her scooter and ride around the park (I tried to hop on the back with her once it was just painfully awkward for both of us so never attempted again).
Other times, nothing matters to her but me picking her up.Whether it be in the mall (as in shopping centre for the brits), the park, the doctors or the grocery store, I constantly have a dead arm from carrying her on my hip. It gets so tough that I have to put her down to have short breaks.
What doesn’t make sense is that I’m so boring. If she would just use her logic, she would see me, who is unfit, tired and unimaginative and my husband, who is fit, energetic and soo playful and choose to play with HIM.
When She’s Not a Velcro Baby There are times where she’s less attached. Those times are the best (although quite rare). We play by choice, not by force and I feel like I can breath.
However, if these phases last too long (as in more than a week), as I watch her play with her dad, or her aunty, or whoever, and she’s paying no mind to me whatsoever, letting me relax and watch, a teeny weeny voice in my brain whispers ‘what about me?’ I find myself missing her.
Gosh our relationship is complicated.
Do you own a velcro baby? Would love to hear your stories 😊.
I will be away this week (UAE is celebrating National Day which equals days off work for my husband 😊), so my next post will be on the 11th of December.Zee 😊