I’m writing this 35,000 feet up in the air, and I’m worried as fuck.
No, it’s not about flying. It’s about leaving a ticking time bomb at home. It’s my first time ever to leave my daughter for a couple of days. This business trip sucks sweaty balls but I have to do it, and I’m not sure how my daughter will handle waking up without mommy beside her.
I’m probably just stressing, but this is Clingy Wingy we’re talking about. I’m losing my mind with this kapit-tuko monster I created. Is there something I’m doing wrong?
A case of clinginess
For a month now, whenever I get asked how my kid is, I immediately answer, “Ugh, she’s just too clingy.” I feel bad saying it, really. Am I not supposed to harp about the beauty of motherhood?
As usual, tons of unsolicited advice rain down on me like bullets ranging from “Ano ka ba? That’s normal! She’ll get over it!” to “Sige ka, you’ll miss it when she stops” and even “Why would you say that? Are you too eager to get your life back?”
A part of me does, admittedly. Not that I wish to be free from all this. Just a sense of balance, you know what I mean? But more than that, it’s genuinely wanting my one-year-old daughter to be a bit more independent. Because like case in point, how will she cope when I have to be away for a few days?
Let me paint a picture of my little tuko’s wonderfully clingy ways. She can’t handle waking up in bed alone. (By alone, I mean sleeping beside a very quiet daddy covered in pillows from head-to-toe. It’s really as if he isn’t there.) She’s a light sleeper. She panics, cries “mommy!” until my husband brings her to me. I’m pushing my bladder out while she’s clinging on to my hair and clawing my face in between screams. No kidding.
She can’t tolerate being left alone to play—with me in the same room as her—for more than 10 minutes. The moment she sees me paying attention to something else, she holds my face and says, “No, no, mommy!” which can turn into a full tantrum if I continue to not mind her.
Quite a few times after she lets out this horrible scream, I’ve ran out from the shower with soap residue, thinking she got hurt or what. Turns out it’s just her protesting against a change of clothes or diapers.
We need help
Then there’s yaya—old, annoyingly slow, and overprotective. But very loving, patient, meticulous, clean, and honest, too.
I don’t wish for a super yaya, and I’ve accepted the fact that she’s not me. She doesn’t think like me. But the little one is too impatient and hyper (two things she got from her dad), and she’ll bawl every freaking single time I leave her with yaya. Even when I’m just a few steps away. Even when I’m right beside her high chair eating lunch with her. Crazy, right?
I just decided to put her to pre-school next week. That might encourage her to be a bit more independent. And I’ve talked to hubs about spending more time with her without me. As for yaya, well, she has to shape up if she wants to keep up.
In a few months— the little one is soon turning a year and a half—it may even be a good time to start healthy time-outs when things go out of hand. My daughter is playing her manipulative tricks on us,and it’s working for now. She thinks I’m not aware, but I am. Oh, I so am! Two can play this game!
God, how do other working moms manage?
Art by Dorothy Guya