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Oh no! Not the M word!

Submitted by on Wednesday, 17 December 2008 One Comment

Tiny hands formed a death grip on the door frame as Boots wailed piteously.

Noooooooo! Don’t wanna go!” he wept, his face contorted with anguish.

Was he headed to the doctor for shots? No.

Going to a strange baby-sitter so Mom could party the night away? No.

He was going to play at a cousin’s house so I could wrap a few presents.

Except he really, really didn’t want to go.

“Wanna stay here. Wanna be with Mommy!”

Careful there, kid, because statements like that are starting to give you a reputation. And once that Momma’s Boy label sticks, it’s hard to shed.

It might have stuck already. Attempts to pin it one on him actually predate efforts to label him the dumb younger brother.

Truth be told, he’s done his part to earn it, starting when he was about 12 hours old and a platoon of visitors marched on our hospital room. He tolerated it for about 20 minutes before beginning to shriek displeasure.

I tried changing his diaper, feeding him and turning him into a human burrito. Nothing worked until the circus rolled out. Then he returned to his previous snuggly and content state.

He handled to transition to day-care, but only because he became obsessively attached to one teacher. It reached the point where he’d strike out at other kids if she picked up someone else. I wondered if he’d start boiling her pet bunnies.

I’m sure I did my part to cause it by rejecting advice I foolishly followed with Big Guy. In my hormone-crazed, exhausted post-partum state it was easy to listen to all the “experts” nagging me to just let the baby cry. One older woman actually advised shaking his bed — hard — to get him to sleep instead of rocking him.

Visions of shaken-baby syndrome dancing in my head, I rejected that one. We live in California, so I suppose it would have been great earthquake preparation, though.

Whether the differences in their early days caused the differences I see now — Big Guy wants to cuddle only on his own terms — or whether they were there from the start I can never be sure.

But in the months since I’ve been working at home, Boots’ one- or two-woman man tendencies have intensified. Especially since it’s often just us in the mornings when Big Guy’s at school.

He also tends to fixate on a particular request when he’s tired. At bedtimes, it’s always “don’t want to sleep; I hungy.” The other day, the visit to the cousins came about two hours after he’d missed his nap, so he defaulted to “Want Mommy.”

Except people are starting to believe him, because he says it so often.

Time for some retraining, Boots. Next time, say “Want Thomas.”

I don’t know of any incidents of teens being teased for being a Thomas boy.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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One Comment »

  • ParentingPink said:

    Awwww…he just wants his mama! So sweet. My third daughter is the same. She’s the clingiest by far and won’t let me leave the room without her in my arms.

    I too ignored the parenting advise of “experts” who told me to let her cry it out. No way. Can’t do it. So now, I also have a “mama’s girl.” Guess both Boots and Sweet Pea will have issues as teens. Hey, at least their in it together :-)