Dealing with a clingy child

When you’re independent, you hope a daycare can help

In Summary

• New Year means nearing the terrible twos


It’s 2023, my toddler turns 16 months today. My little baby is growing up into a tiny version of himself everyday. I look at him and imagine the days he will be a hormonal pre-teen, then a raging teen before calming down confidently into his persona.

But until that time comes, here I am, dealing with my “twonager” as I call him. My baby has all the loveable qualities of a toddler and all the harrowing tantrums of a terrible two! 

He can go from zero to a hundred in the blink of an eye. One minute, you are having a jolly time, laughing and learning. The next minute, he’s out of control and nothing can calm him down. He’s also taught himself the iconic terrible twos tantrum: lying down on the ground and kicking frantically while screaming! I’m often left bewildered at how naturally these things come to them. As in, who taught you that?

Moreover, as we settle into our new home and life, my toddler has gotten extremely attached to me. The proximity to each other has increased by a thousand fold. He no longer has the freedom to venture about the house and compound like he did at his grandparents'. Plus we live on the second floor, making it extremely difficult to venture outside as we please. We also co-sleep because of unavoidable circumstances, something I look forward to correcting as soon as possible. 

Anyway, it could be any of these reasons or for his own reasons, but my toddler can’t stand being out of my sight for even two minutes. His poor dad has to come up with several engaging activities just to keep him away from me for a few seconds so I can finish my work. As my husband returns to work after the festive period, I have to come up with a new routine for us to coexist, work and play without constant disruption because he simply wants me by his side. 

I am particularly pro-independence. I want my child to continue thriving in his own environment with or without me. Which is why we have decided to put him into daycare as soon as we find a spot. Daycare has never been on the top list of my priorities, especially while living in Kenya. But here in the diaspora, my son and I are practically Siamese. We are stuck to the hip 24-7. Daycare will allow us to have some time to venture into our own interests and growth. 

He will learn how to socialise with babies his age instead of spending all his time with adults. Hopefully the time apart will be crucial to our weaning process. We have a couple of months before we put him into daycare, and I am hoping that within this time, we can start making some changes to our routine that will make it easier for him to be away from me for a few hours each day. 

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