rainberryblue posted this great quote by Peggy O'Mara - editor of Mothering Magazine.
"It is the nature of the child to be dependent, and it is the nature of dependence to be outgrown. Begrudging dependency because it is not independence is like begrudging winter because it is not yet spring. Dependency blossoms into independence in its own time."
— Peggy O’Mara
As Ikaika is getting older, his needs are becoming more pronounced. His desire to be left alone is acute at times. If he is intent on looking in the recycling bin, no matter how many times I try to pull him away or distract him, he just keeps going back. He rarely wants to lie down with me (fighting sleep is his most heartfelt battle) like he did when he was very small. Even though I love and appreciate his energy and personality, constantly digging paper out of his mouth can get tiring.
On the contrary, when he wants to be held nothing short of my undivided attention will suffice. He crawls around on the floor under me, screaming, and climbs up my leg like a Koala bear. It gets very frustrating because I cant do the dishes or take a shower without Ikaika throwing himself on the floor in front of the shower, sobbing. If its possible, I will carry him around in the Ergo while I do chores or whatever, but that only works if Im doing a standing activity.
If I pick him up and carry him when hes feeling dependent his needs are met and he will usually be quiet, but its disruptive to the other people in the house, namely me. I also worry that if I meet his needs this reinforces a behavior Im not particularly fond of. If I leave him to sob on the floor, his needs arent being met but maybe I am teaching him to soothe himself. Am I willing to deal with an hour and a half of sobbing, screaming baby for the hope that someday in the near(er) future he wont sob and scream anymore? Which camp do I pitch my tent in? How do I balance his needs with my own?
I think the point of this quote is that because its in the childs nature to outgrow their dependence, it wouldnt hurt to meet their needs in the meantime. And that perhaps its not fair to tell him to "stop being such a baby!"