Friday, November 16, 2012

The Ups and Downs of a "Momma's Boy"

Robby is a Momma's Boy.  Don't read that as dainty, he's not.  He's as rough and tumble and "boyish" as they come.  Rather, he is OBSESSIVE about Mommy.

This is both a blessing and a curse.  Do I absolutely love that his face lights up when he sees me, that I'm the one he wants to cuddle with, and I have a magical ability to make things better?  Absolutely, and I'd be lying if I didn't own up to relishing those aspects.  Does it make it harder for other people to care for him (including daddy), make his behavior worse for me, and never gives me a break?  Again, you betcha.

Robby knows the time when I am to arrive at daycare, and will stand at the gate plaintively whining "Mooommmyyy...".  In the mornings, I leave first, and there is always some hysterical crying when I leave.  It is heartbreaking.  I love feeling loved, but I hate that he seems so devastated.  First thing when he wakes up in the morning, I hear him calling "Mommy!" from his crib (which let me tell you, is a VAST improvement over the screaming), and apparently when I was out on Wednesday, he was banging on the rocking chair screaming "Mommy!" and wouldn't let Chris do the nightly routine.

Now, to the parts that are hard.  Chris is getting more and more hurt by the total Mommy devotion.  I cannot leave Robby in a room with him, or hand him to Chris without an absolute meltdown.  I say "Go to Daddy" and get an emphatic, "NO" with a lot of head shaking.  He refuses to hug or kiss him most of the time, unless it's a group hug, and rarely will cuddle on the couch with him.  This is not because of anything Chris has or has not done.  He loves Robby, plays with him, and is a great dad.  Robby just has a hang-up right now.  Chris has started to say that we need to take action to "break him" of this, and I am very opposed.  Partially, selfishly, I like being the center of attention, but that's not my main rationale.  It's a stage.  One day, he'll wake up and want nothing to do with me, and it will be over.  He's being a perfectly normal 1.5 year old by wanting mom.  There's no need to traumatize him (or me) by forcing me to be more distant.

As for behavior, oh goodness.  I hear from daycare, other providers, grandparents, everyone that he is an angel for them.  Not just "good", but downright saintly.  One day, I asked his daycare teacher what she did for discipline.  Specifically, did she use counting "1 - 2 - 3", because I had tried it for the first time at home, and it had miraculously worked, so I assumed that's what she did.  She looked at me like I had 3 heads.  She said, "Robby has never given me trouble.  Ever."  WHAT?!?!?!  What sort of drugs are they pumping into the air over there?  She described to me what she used with other children, but insisted that he was never a problem.  She also claims that he lies perfectly still to change his diaper.  HAHAHAHA.  Alright, at home?  THIS IS NOT MY CHILD.

At home he primarily misbehaves if I'm trying to do something other than pay attention to him.  Just this morning, he dumped a full container of face powder all over the bathroom floor (for the 2nd time), because I was trying to do my make-up.  This is after pushing me away from the mirror did not work.  Yesterday, we had to put him in time out before we could take the dog walk, because he was KICKING Chris, because he wanted MOMMY to put on his coat, and not Daddy.  You get the idea?  My attention must be 100% devoted to him, or there is dog water dumped on the floor, stereo cords pulled out of the wall, and crayon drawings on doors.  All of which he is very clear that they are wrong, but he does to get my attention.  And diaper changes are wrestling matches.  I just don't get it.  It is not because I'm permissive.  I'm not!  I think he just feels a little too comfortable with me, and also cares more about me doing something other than hanging out with him than he does about other people.  It also is painfully difficult for me when people tell me (or act like) I'm making it up.  They act like I must just be short tempered, or doing something wrong, or exaggerating.  THAT IS NOT THE CASE.  He is DIFFERENT when it's just me, or when there are other people around.  I think my mother is starting to believe me after phone calls where he is screaming continuously in the background.  Again, don't misinterpret that this is 100% of the time.  He's great if I can sit there and play blocks.  But sometimes, I need to cook dinner, answer a phone, drive a car, or use a bathroom.

I'm just a little at a loss.  I'm hurt when people don't believe me or downplay it.  I'm elated that I'm his first love (though I hear he's crazy about a girl at daycare).  I'm saddened that he won't do more with his dad.  I'm frustrated that his behavior is so poor for me, but relieved that it's good for everyone else.  Even through the aggravation I'm trying to enjoy it.  I know the idol worship won't last for long, so I guess bring on the bad behavior.


  1. You're mommy! No one else at this point comes before you :) My children have been very similar to this too. Your husband will get his time to shine when your boy gets a little older, but right now you are his safe harbor :)

  2. My oldest was that way and to a certain extent the little one was too. Yes, they outgrew it. The littlest one has done a complete 360 (well except for bathroom duty) and wants daddy to do everything and to heck with mom. I love watching that bond develop though. I'd say don't try to be distant, but don't avoid daddy doing things like helping with the coat. Sounds like you're doing it just right.

  3. We faced the mommy thing too with P. After it became apparent we actually did break her of it. She still prefers me some days but it's not the same as it was and now she happily goes to daddy if I can't be there and some days even chooses him.
    To break it I just handed her over to him and walked away through tears over and over again. I didn't do much different I just didn't pick her up every single whine and eventually (I think it took a week) she stopped.