Ryan is solidly in the middle of a classic Mommy Phase.
It was like one day he didn’t care what the hell I was up to and the next day, he was my little shadow, incessantly asking me where I was going, what I was doing and whether or not I would leave without him.
Not only does he dread the idea that I might leave the house without him (which I do at least two nights per week for freelance work and which leaves him in tears each time), he also breaks down when I drop him off at preschool, screaming “But I want to go with youuuuuu!!!” as his teacher hauls him away from me.
Even more frustrating is his aversion to me being out of his sight for more than four seconds. Like, say, to use the bathroom. Or move the laundry from the washer to the dryer or put something away or start to prep dinner or, or, or.
If he is sitting in the living room and I’m sitting in the dining room – within his line of sight, mind you – he calls over to me to say hi and ask me what I’m doing. EVERY THREE MINUTES.
This has made me feel a variety of ways:
1. Flattered. I admit it. The fact that the dude likes me so much that he misses me even when I’m a mere five yards away from him makes me feel a teensy bit warm and fuzzy.
2. Guilty. I hate when he refuses to allow Mike to do something for him or with him, yelling “I don’t want you! I want Mommy!” Ryan has been through Daddy Phases and has said similar words to me; it stings no matter how much you tell yourself it has truly nothing to do with you and that he will outgrow it in a matter of days or weeks.
3. Annoyed. I need my personal space and the kid is all up in it. If I say I’m running upstairs for a minute to grab a load of laundry, you do not need to follow me to make sure I’m doing what I say I’m doing. I promise you, I’m not throwing a giant Dinosaur Party without you and I’m not sneaking out the window for a secret rendezvous with Daddy. I’m just grabbing the laundry. That is as exciting as Mommy gets these days.
I should bookmark this post because I know one day, sooner than I expect, he’ll want very little to do with me. When he begs me to drop him off at the corner of his friend’s street – rather than right in front of the house – I’ll have to remind him how once upon a time, he was so proud to call me his Mommy, that all he wished for was to be near me.
So I try to soak up those few minutes early in the morning when he crawls into bed with me, snuggles up close and raises his sweet little face right up to mine to yell something like, “Wake up, Mommy! Come on, let’s go play!”
I know how fleeting each childhood stage is. I know how quickly they grow. Yet I would like to be able to pee without someone trying to body-slam the door down in an effort to get to me.
This morning, he was sitting in the living room; I was in the kitchen. After asking me where I was and what I was doing three times in the span of five minutes, I finally shouted back, “WHY do you keep asking me that?!”
His response: “I just reawwy wuv you, Mommy.”
Oh. Never mind then. Mommy Phase Insanity is worth it if it means hearing things like that.