Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mom & Daughter.

A few of the frames + prints for our soon-to-be photo wall.

As I suspected, day one of my Whole30 wasn't that big of a deal. A trip to the bakery and my usual happy hour didn't even phase me! But I know it'll get more difficult later in the week so I'm not even remotely patting myself on the back just yet. Rough seas are ahead, I'm sure.

Lee said something interesting to me after I got home from my three-day trip to San Francisco. He told me that Alice behaves very differently with him. Having heard this before from family who have spent time with Alice without me, I pressed him to give me some specifics. And he came right out and said that Alice isn't nearly as whiny or clingy when I'm not around.

I tried not to take what he said personally as I know he doesn't mean it that way. I've also come to this conclusion myself after having spent a month with my in-laws and listening and watching her interact with her grandma when she didn't know that I was just around the corner. And interestingly, the second I would come back into the room after having been away from her for an hour or two, she would start her usual stuck-to-my-side and whiny behavior.

I don't believe I foster a clingy-ness or dependency in my daughter and, in fact, I'd say that I try very hard to instill the opposite in her. But for some reason, her ability to be independent is forgotten when I'm around. I know I need to cherish these moments where she wants me to hold her all the time and, for the most part, I do but it is hard to enjoy those moments when they happen for the majority of our day together.

God forbid I put her down to pee or brush my teeth or answer an email.

So today, I did an experiment! I think a lot of Alice's whininess comes from boredom so I gave her a bowl of dry barley and a spoon and a few containers to transfer the little grains into and she entertained herself for almost 30 minutes straight! And then when she was finished with that game (and there was barley ALL OVER the floor) I grabbed a broom and a dust pan and she "helped" to clean up her mess (thanks for the idea, Lauren!). Seeing her ability to entertain herself helped me realize that I could do a better job of giving her something to do and then encouraging her to stick with it without me right there.

I don't know what will be harder... finishing the Whole30 or teaching my toddler to be more independent.

Any ideas? Having her help me with jobs has been great and we do a lot of that during our day together but the second I need to do something that doesn't include her (like put on my makeup or have a conversation with Lee), she starts whining and asking for me to pick her up. Over and over and over and over!


  1. Your picture wall is going to look great! As for your clingy 2 year old. Keeping her busy is an excellent idea. I noticed at dinner, if she sits in her high chair, she is lower than you. I think once you get your dining room table and she is at the same height as the rest of the people, she may feel a bit more included in on the dinner, rather than you holding her on your lap. She has a similar temperment as you did, when you were a two year old. xo

  2. Briana, I noticed the same thing when my son was only a year old. I got some input from our nanny who worked in a daycare prior to coming to work for us. She said almost all the kids reverted to a different behavior as soon as their parents came to pick them up at the end of the day. My son is two and a half and he is the whiniest/ clingiest with me. In the last 3 months he has reverted to his clingier self, which was when he was 21 months. I had been taking him to the gym with me and dropping him at the in house daycare when he turned 15 months old and he was fine for 6 months until he turned 21 months and then he started refusing to be left in daycare! I had to stop going to the gym...and a month later, we moved, and had to put my son in daycare. That took time to adjust to but by the time he was two, he was more than happy to go to daycare everyday. Good luck with getting your little one to be more independent!

  3. You know what's funny? My husband and I just had a conversation similar to this... it seems that when I am not around, my boys act a lot more self-sufficient and independent, but when they see their mama, they tend to go all helpless! It's definitely a mama-thing, I think! But I do notice that they tend to act more clingy and whiny when they are needing some extra love. It sounds like you are doing a great job, though. And thanks for the shout-out!

  4. I think it's actually very common for kids to be more clingy etc. when mama is around. W definitely is as well... on days where I'm parent helper at preschool he's glued to me and hesitant to participate in activities, and if I'm not there he's outgoing and one of the pack. Actually even little R does this a bit... she 'll be with James for a few hours and totally content, then she sees me and bursts into tears . I think it's because she realizes she needs something (mostly food!), and she knows mom will attend to her needs. I suspect it's much the same for an older kid, if they're feeling a little vulnerable or off, they feel safe asking for support from mom. Unfortunately, 'asking' is usually whining.

    As for activities, so far I lucked out with W who is really good at making his own projects and occupying himself. At Alice's age he loved simple puzzles, sorting by color or size, sweeping, and cooking too (but that's not going to give you any down time). Hang in there! She'll move through it.


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