Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mamma mia!

After the "non, non, non!" phase... we proudly present "Mamma mia!" or "maaamôn!"

Emma has not been a particularly clingy baby or toddler; her curiosity was always stronger than her separation anxiety and she has so far demonstrated a strong sense of security and confidence.
She has often stared at and analyzed new faces, greeted strangers in the street, sometimes even turning around to follow them. Playing on her own for about 20 minutes while I showered or had coffee in the morning was not really an issue and she has often sat in her high chair pouring endless cups of pretend tea while I chop veggies, the two of us attempting Ba-ba black sheep or Frêres Jacques a cappella.

Then, we went to Geneva for ten days.

Despite frequent visits from family and friends, baths and meals in good company and a few hours spent with family on her own, the two of us spent a lot of time together since there was no Kindergarden to provide both of us with "social interaction with peers".

We came back and all of a sudden it was "maaamôn!" five trillion times a day. Because she had a fever and the runs, I figured she wanted the added attention and cuddles 'cause she wasn't feeling well, but now I'm so sure.

Emma, who frequently wanted out of her pushcart, now wants to be pushed around and refuses to walk: she stands lifting her arms towards me indicating she wants to be carried or tries to scramble into her Maclaren on her own. In fact, she does not want to leave home without it!
On the rare occasions when she will walk, she
will run off in the opposite direction chuckling. (I have stopped playing chase the toddler which she loved but I think she was not able/or willing to distinguish play from walking back from school.)Patience, patience... I'm sure she's testing me for something.

When she is in her high-chair she wants out and when she is outshe wants up. She even wants me to carry her insideat home. The little toddler who used to go fetch a book and "read" on the kitchen floor now wines and tugs at my pant-leg "maaamôn-ing" me constantly.

When the pediatrician tried to listen to her heart beat while she was sitting on my lap (and after having listened to the heart beats of the mummy kangaroos and the baby kangaroos on her desk at least 3 times) Emma got so upset and desperately clung on to me yelling as if she were drowning. She was utterly inconsolable and we didn't even manage to weigh her. This is the first time going to the pediatrician was a fuss.

Now, if I am around, even when her Dad tries to take her off to bed or feed her milk she pushes him away calling "maamôn" and she screams and screams if she does not get her way - something she never used to do.
When I do give her the bottle, she stops sucking
every thirty seconds or so to look me in the eyes and say "mamôn". Initially, it was kind of sweet but after the first trillion times, it's rather irritating. What do I do? Well, if I'm there, I reply "oui Emma" or "oui, maman est là". If I can't attend to her at that moment I explain that I hear her but that I am washing the dishes/making dinner/whatever and that I will come when I am done. Sometimes I try to distract her by asking her to bring me a tupperware or help me put the laundry in the dryer. It seems to work for a little while but sure enough she's at it five minutes later.

Yesterday, after her Dad and I kissed hello, and I was carrying Emma to high-chair she repeatedly tried to kiss me on the mouth, maneuvering my face with both her hands on my cheeks and her mouth aiming for mine. It was actually quite funny but managing not to laugh, I decided to give her a few noisy kisses on the cheek and plonk her down for dinner.

Thankfully, there is no fuss at all when we drop her off at kindergarden in the mornings. She is still curious and greets stargers in the street and will joyfully run ahead in the park towards the swings, but at home, it is a pretty hard ballgame at the moment. I really hope it's just a phase. And I can't wait for the weather to get better so we can get out more!

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