WHEN it comes down to it, toddlers are basically stalkers, aren’t they?
Tiny, determined, loud, always in your face stalkers.
I can’t move at the minute without a little shadow following me. Nobody else is good enough, even his Dad, it has to be me.
Mama changes the nappies, delivers the meals, goes for the walks, provides drinks and snacks, peels the grapes, puts the lotion on its skin. Only Mama. Never anyone else. Only Mama.
Experts call it ‘separation anxiety’ or ‘a developmental leap’ or ‘a phase’.
I call it ‘For the love of all that is HOLY, I am TRYING to have a POO! Can you give me one. damn. minute.’
I am never alone. I must always be in his eyeline. If I stray out of his peripheral vision for even a single second it triggers a meltdown that makes Naomi Campbell look like a perfectly rational human being.
Sometimes it’s lovely – when we’re cuddling on the couch reading a book before bed and he’s all content murmuring ‘Mama Mama’ to himself, smiling serenely.
Not so at 3am when he drops his soother, to his absolute outrage, and Mama is the only one who can put it back. Or when I’m paying the girl in Tesco and need to turn my back to enter my PIN number. It’s not so lovely then.
Mammy Dunne had the audacity to look at him yesterday and the response was so ear-splitting that coma patients in the hospital ten miles away woke up muttering ‘keep it bloody down’.
It’s exhausting. I feel like I’m always ‘on’ and there’s an element of walking on eggshells about it too. He gets himself so worked up when he can’t see me, it’s really distressing for both him and me. So for now we soldier on, responding to his needs while repeating ‘it’ll pass it’ll pass’ on a loop.
Still though, on the brightside, at least somebody loves me and thinks I’m lovely.
I met another mother in the playground this week, there with her little boy just a few months older than Seán. I’d seen her there before, but only got the chance to speak to her recently.
‘Your boy is so hendsome, yes?’ she said admiringly.
‘Yes, he is,’ I said puffed up with pride, looking at his peachy skin, shining blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes.
‘He looks like your hesband, yes? He is not like you at all. No. He does not look like you at all. HE is hendsome. Yes,’ she nodded, taking in my scraped back greasy hair, spotty chin and baggy t-shirt.
So, I might look like the Wreck of the Hesperus but at least my son loves me. Yes?