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DS 2y 10 months, still insanely clingy.

(10 Posts)
SnoozingCyborg Wed 10-Dec-14 11:47:06

DS is an only child and gets plenty of stimulating play and fun with parents. We both work full time, and he has been in nursery since 18 months. He is still clingy when I drop him off, and his favourite thing is "mummy daddy time" where we wander around in the park etc, jumping around, having fun. Fair enough, its a long day at nursery. But come on kid, I need to take a dump from time to time, right?

I feel like I've done everything right. He's just been a vocal, whiny kid who constantly demands attention from me FOREVER. Nothing I've tried seems to have changed his essential approach to life. I've never been able to go to the bathroom on my own. It's still incredibly hard to get him to let me cook dinner or do anything that needs to be done when he is in the room. Nothing has changed. Will it ever, ever change? For example, I'm giving him lots of cuddles, feeding him dinner and trying to chat to my husband and we get:

"I WANT YOU TO TALK TO ME! DON'T TALK TO DADDY!"

Gentle instruction that shouting is not cool, and that mummy can chat to daddy if she wants, because daddy is her good friend. His standard response to any corrective comment, no matter how gentle is:

"I WANT A CUDDLE!!! WAAAH!"

Uh, kid, I am cuddling you. What is this if not cuddling?

"WAAAAAAAH"

Instead of moaning, could you just tell me what you want?

"I WANT A CUDDLE! I WANT WOLFIE! I WANT WARM MILK! DON'T TALK TO DADDY!!!! I WANT YOU TO TALK TO ME!!!!"

If you want to talk to me, don't shout. Just tell me something and I'll talk to you.

"CUDDLE!!!!! CUDDDLLLLLE!!!! I WANT A CUDDLE!!!!"

Um... I think you want some time out, kid.

"CUDDLE!!!! I WANT CUDDLE!!!'

Or say, we are watching a TV show about disturbingly sentient trains, let's call it Smuggington, and having a chat about it. He politely requests warm milk. I go up to get it ready and walk into the open-plan kitchen literally one metre away in full view.

"SIT NEXT TO ME!!!"

Uh, how am I going to heat up your milk while simultaneously sitting on the sofa?

"BUT I WANT YOU TO SIT NEXT TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEE"

Do you want this milk or not?

"I WANT CUDDLE!!!!!!"

So it is an endless round of 3-2-1 time-outs, mini-meltdowns, tearful apologies and post-apology cuddles. I mean, I do pretty much anything he asks if a) he asks nicely and b) it's actually reasonable or doable, including (you guessed it) cuddling. If it's not reasonable I tell him I can't do it and he has a meltdown. Meltdowns don't get him anything. But he can't seem to learn from this. So, like I said, I think I'm doing things right, or at least consistently. But his behaviour doesn't change. He's just the same whiny, moany, demanding, clingy kid he's been from the beginning.

It seems to have gotten even worse lately. He's recently forced me into going back to co-sleeping, because we took the cot-side down and he just comes into our room and who has the energy to deal with that at 2:00am. I don't mind that so much TBH, he's not so kicky as he used to be, but it means that DH has to go sleep in the kiddie room. I'm wondering if this has made him even more attached and clingy than usual? I would have thought he'd get enough of mummy-cuddling in the night, or maybe he's just become a mummy-cuddle addict?

I think we are transitioning out of the 'terrible twos' phase and to be honest, it wasn't that different from what came before, and where we are going is also about the same as what came before. So.

Of course, he is an angel with everyone else.

Will he just grow out of this? How can I manage his behaviour any better without just turning myself into a cuddle-slave who never eats, goes to work, or poos? Thoughts?

Chickz Wed 10-Dec-14 17:13:29

Poor you. It sounds really tough. I have a clingy high needs 14 month old so wants alot of attention and is very demanding. The only thing that saved me was going back to work. I hope someone comes along that can offer you some advice. Hugs.

SnoozingCyborg Wed 10-Dec-14 18:07:15

Yep, going back to work when he was 18mo was definitely the only thing that saved my sanity. So this is what you call a 'high needs' kid then? Great. At least he is also really funny and cute and smart, but yeah, OMG such a pain in the ass. What kind of people do these terrors grow into? WHEN WILL IT END?

Chickz Thu 11-Dec-14 09:05:39

I ask the same question myself. I'd love to have another but I'm petrified of having one the same and having a mental breakdown.

PurpleStripedSock Thu 11-Dec-14 12:30:18

I work full time and my 19 month is similar. It's usually a sign of overtiredness in her. If I'm trying to get dinner ready, she will demand 'help' with Duplo or want to be picked up etc. I'll explain I have to cook so we can eat dinner and she'll nod and repeat cook and dinner and then demand help :-)

I don't feed her separately and if I had an other half I'd make him join us at dinner too. I don't 'feed' her either. She eats her dinner, I eat mine and we chat.

When he demands asks you for milk while watching TV, can you offer him the choice of waiting for mummy to bring it or coming with her while it heats up?

I don't know. He sounds demanding and that must be wearing. I get told often that it's all just a phase and it's not for long and things will pass. Hopefully this is true for you.

Iggly Thu 11-Dec-14 20:48:50

You need to reflect back his moods in words e.g. you're tired/hungry etc etc so he can learn to tell you what he wants.

Also it isn't unreasonable that he is clingy when you work full time. He will he tired from nursery and that means clingy. Plus he misses you.

I found it easier to bring them with me when they were like this (I have two) but obviously sometimes they got uoset when I had to go elsewhere e.g. to the loo! But would give them warning first.

Mine are 5&2 and are still a bit clingy but generally they just want a cuddle when I get in from work!

Siennasun Fri 12-Dec-14 22:25:51

My DS is only just 2 and I work pt but other than that I could have written your op.
I actually like the enforced co-sleeping. DH is less keen. I get cuddles, he gets kicked.
Don't have any useful advice. I tend to carry DS around a lot to avoid the mini meltdowns if I attempt to be more than 2cm away from him for 2 seconds. This obviously can't go on as he's getting bigger.

gruber Fri 12-Dec-14 22:33:13

At least you can leave him at nursery. We've never even been able to leave our DS in crèche at church (same place, same people every week) and he's nearly 2. He will go to 4 people (me, DH, my parents) without crying and anotjer 4 family members under protest. That's it. In nearly 2 years.

Still co sleeping. Still can't be in a separate room from him in the house. Can't be more than 5ft away from him in a public place. Can't tolerate playgroups. Can't tolerate other children (will either run away or need to be held the whole time).

Your little one actually sounds just like a clingy 2 year old!

gruber Fri 12-Dec-14 22:34:49

You need to read "the high needs baby and child" (or similar title- can't remember exactly) by Dr Sears. Fab book and lots of coping strategies.

ProveMeWrong Fri 12-Dec-14 22:40:20

Mine is same age and is exactly the same! Except I'm at home half a day with him. So full on all the bloody time.

Particularly bad when he wakes up, pretends to be a kitten and expects an indefinite sleepy cuddle until he has decided the time is right, never mind nursery, cooking dinner, urgent appointment etc.

And "mummy, my cars have crashed, come and see this, don't finish your dinner, come see, come see!!" On loop. Or "mummeeeeeeeee..... Mm...mm...mm" from wherever he is in the house. If he is drawing it's "look at this line, look at this dot, I doed an "i" mummy, look at it, look at it, LOOOOOOK". Yes love, just trying to have a glass of water before I completely dehydrate.

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