Toddlers evolve, it seems, everyday. My toddler was once an infant that did not want to be held. She would cry at night until she was put down and left alone. Discovering this took a lot and we were all baffled by her personality – a baby that doesn’t want to be held? So we tried to encourage her to be independent. We would have an hour of one on one time in the morning followed by about an hour of her playing on her own, nap time, and then independent playing the rest of the afternoon – on her own or with friends, and in various places, including our home. I was never more than a few feet away from her during this time.
About two months ago she decided she no longer wanted to play on her own. She needed constant attention – which I didn’t mind, besides, I wanted to stay home with her and play time was the best part! Until I tried to clean. She would see me take out the cleaning supplies or tidying up, and she would ask to be held. If I tried explaining to her what I was doing, she would through a tantrum. I would play music, give her a toy… NOTHING worked. She no longer sits in a high chair, so I couldn’t even restrain her in a seat with a toy while I got some work done.
If I am sitting on the couch, she will come and sit on me. She would prefer to sit in my lap rather than play with her toys. Drink coffee in the morning? No way – not without her permission. This is why I had to drink my coffee while I showered this morning. When I am in the shower and she is with my hubby, she will be fine for up to 10-15 minutes. Anything past that and she’s bored already. I hate to think that I’ve created a monster, but I do try to encourage independent play throughout the day with her. We recently made her her own play room and filled it with toys and games. I sit on the couch next to her, and she will bring a toy and sit on top of me. I love it because I know one day she will not want to be held anymore and I try to cherish every second of it. At the same time, I would love for her to discover her own independence so that she has this solid trait when she is older.
Do you have a similar situation?