What has happened to my good little sleeper who would drift off on his own each and every night after a good bath and a story?
Where has this clinging to my body when being dropped off at nursery come from?
The phrase "Daddy cuddle!!" has never been used more.
My three year old is changing. And it's making me realise we had a pretty amazing, (dare i say it) relatively easy past couple of years. I'm not going to lie either, initially these changes have totally freaked me out. Why am i so resistant to change? I am probably a little selfish and loved the fact he would be happy to say "Night night" and go to sleep. But literally out of the blue, he has started saying "Daddy bed too?" tapping on my chest as he does so. Some times even grabbing my face and saying it like he really needs me to lay with him. It's definitely out of the ordinary for him to do this. It's never for long, maybe 20 minutes tops and he's fast asleep, but this is a big change for us all.
I have researched all of this new behaviour of course, and it sounds like separation anxiety. I also understand this is all normal three year old behaviour. He is developing at a speedy rate. His speech is really coming along and at this age their little imagines are really starting to come into their own. Not only that, but toddlers typically like to start controlling their environments and making demands at this time. Toddlers? Being demanding? NEVER!
We get told to sit down, we get told to change the hand we're eating our breakfast with and we even get told "No, i hold it!" to every item we seem to come into contact with. I could literally die inside with cuteness overload most of the time as it's so wonderful to see him come into his own little (demanding) personality. But at the same time, i fully know this is a really important age and time to set some good boundaries. But it is bloody hard, am i right?
It’s non-stop with a toddler. There's never really much time to settle and digest it all. There is always something new. A new milestone or target to work towards. This year already we've had the switch to a bed, starting nursery, soon to start potty training... give it a minute and he'll be off to college not glancing back whilst i cry my eyes out at my baby boy moving on with his life.
We had a trip abroad recently which I think coincided with this ‘development leap’… which couldn’t have been worse timing if we tried. I know sleeping patterns will change, and I know he’ll be resistant to his dads asking him to do things (which will only get worse over the years I am sure) but I just want him to be happy. We can’t seem to leave the room at the minute without him screaming! I will lay with him for as long as he needs me to. I will cuddle him at the nursery drop off as long as he needs it. And I will take him to the toilet with me so he isn't alone in the room. I just hope this is a phase that all toddlers go through? Maybe it takes a couple of weeks of feeling unsettled and they get back into their groove once they realise they can’t control every element of their environment? Please tell me it's more of a 'few weeks' thing than a 'few months' thing...
If I am being honest, laying with him already feels like the new normal, we just had to get used to this change for however long it may last and i even kind of like it now. The hardest thing is the change in attitude towards being dropped off at nursery. He’s been going for a couple months and before Easter he would RUN off into the room without saying bye. I had to force a cuddle and kiss goodbye. Now... it's a little different. But it could well be a delayed realisation of being left now the initial excitement has worn off?
Parenting is a minefield. And I have a feeling this is only the beginning…