With two little ones around our house, clinginess is no stranger. There are days when these two little boys seem to want nothing more than to be held. Breakfast is fast and easy; lunch is something I can make one-armed; dinner is nothing fancy. I try to remember that the things on my to-do list are not urgent. Yes, they feel urgent to me, but the world will not stop if I fail to check off each item. I try to my best to keep it in perspective and to embrace each moment as it comes, but sometimes its hard.
Today was the perfect example. I have been trying to reorganize the kids’ room. Not just reorganize. No…the project has become much bigger. I am trying to downsize. Out with the old and unused in an effort to make room for the new. There are bags and bags (and bags) of baby clothes and blankets and hats and booties. Piles of toddler clothing and jackets and sweaters. Some of it passed down to us, some of it gifts, some of it worn and broken in, some of it never touched. I’ve been trying to be practical. If it’s never been worn then it went into the “give it to someone who might actually use it” pile. Surprisingly, I came up with quite a load to give away. Accomplishment. A little extra space. Ah, some breathing room. So today’s task seemed simple enough. Sort the remaining clothes according to size, put them in vacuum seal bags, vacuum them shut, store them. That’s it. A 30 minute project. Yet it literally took me all day to accomplish those few steps. Nothing else on my list got checked off. Why? I had two little children who both refused a nap and instead spent the afternoon clinging.
So when I sat down at the computer tonight and read Elizabeth’s blog, I felt her advice could not possibly have come at a better time. As she tells a story of her clingy toddler, she passes on some advice she read. Here’s her advice…
Embrace him. He is empty and unsure of your permanence, for whatever reason, and the more you resist, the more unsure he gets. The more unsure he gets, the more he will cling. Embrace him every time he wants you to, for as long as he wants you to. Don’t let go until he does. Eventually he will.
It’s true. Everything with children is just a phase. They will outgrow their clinginess. They will outgrow their neediness. And I will miss it. Oh yes, someday I know I will miss the little arms wrapped tightly around my neck. I’ll miss the little sticky hands reaching for me. I’ll miss the cries that are only satisfied with a mommy hug. So for now, I am going to do the only thing I can. I’m going to set aside that to-do list and I’m going to embrace my children…clinginess and all.