The cure for the cling?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It’s only a few weeks (okay, 7) until I go back to work.  I’m looking forward to it for myself, truly I am.  But this time it’s a lot more bittersweet than last time (god, I was so ready last time) since I don’t think Callum is very ready for full time daycare.

So he’s starting full time daycare a few weeks earlier than Oliver started part time daycare, but he just seems so much younger. I know that I have enjoyed his babyhood more than I enjoyed Oliver’s, and I was just desperate for Oliver to grow up really, but Callum really does seem like more of a baby than Oliver did.  I haven’t taught him to put himself to sleep yet.  He can’t hold his bottle yet.  He’s a little ball of baby needs.

And, he’s a mom addict.  Oliver seriously could have smiled at someone at the grocery store, had them smile back at him, had them take him home, and he would have loved them forever.  Mummy who?  He was always a flirt with strangers and never had any issue being left with relatives or starting daycare.  God, he loved daycare when he first started it (I think he actually likes it less now, and is probably more attached to us now than he used to be).

Callum, on the other hand, is not at all Mr. Independent.  He’s Mr. Clingy.  He sees me and sighs this big sigh full of mummy love.  He has sometimes refused to drink milk, eat food or settle to sleep for other people.  I mean, it’s lovely, but I am not used to it!  And it makes doing things without him much more difficult.  The division of labour in this house, since he was born, has also fostered this.  I’m in charge of the baby, and when he’s home and available, Mark is in charge of Oliver.  This is so strongly ingrained that when Mark picked up Callum to go and change him the other day, Oliver gave us his over-the-top shocked as hell face (mouth and eyes wide open) and said ‘No!  Callum is Mummy’s!’ – like Mark was stealing him away from me.

My mother has summers off of work, and so as we’re spending more time with her lately, I’m trying to leave Callum with her more often.  And then we were presented with the biggest opportunity of all to alleviate the cling factor.  Mark is, last minute, going to England for a week on Saturday so that he can attend his grandmother’s funeral with his family.  And he’s taking Callum.

My first instinct was no, but he’s reassured me with his confidence that he will be fine taking care of him, and he’s not worried about it at all, thank you very much.  And me?  Oh boy, I am going to be spoiled for a week.  Oliver and I are planning lots of adventures.  I can get stuff done around the house (or at least I’d better get stuff done!) and I have THREE DAYS child free while he’s at daycare.  I already have a plan to see friends in Toronto for lunch one of those days.  What a luxury – a week of mat leave and no baby.

But I am really going to miss that loved-up face:

One Response to “The cure for the cling?”

  1. Lisa Says:

    This is EXACTLY how I felt when I went back to work after being off with Mia. She still seems like a wee baby to me, and she’s totally a “mama’s girl”. If I hug Jack, an almighty Angry Baby shriek fills the air. It was really hard leaving her the first week or so, but now she runs off and doesn’t look back. That’s the thanks you get.

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