Updated: Nov 7, 2019
Like Liverpool football club, their official or unofficial anthem is 'You will never walk alone'. Parents need to adapt that to I will never pee alone! (or for a long long time). It starts in stages, like well it's not safe to leave them alone while I use the bathroom, to you can't shut them out for love nor money ! ( what are you doing in there, shadows darkening the under door as they bang on it ) To , may as well bring them in and encourage them to use the potty at the same time ?
My wee one, excuse the pun, loves it when she is allowed in the bathroom, usually those doors are shut tight. It really isn't safe to let her roam unsupervised, One I have teenage boys so the floor is not always clean , heck dry ! And two she is a little bit too interested in the toilet bowl, so there is the germs aspect and falling in head first and drowning aspect. But when she comes in with me she gets straight to work making toilet paper sculptures and rearranging cupboards, most have locks on them , but I have one that doesn't on purpose so she can be occupied while I am occupied.
But it is funny the times that they choose to be stuck to you like glue. Like in our playroom , all the toys in the world and she wants me, where ever I am, but once I give her the attention get on the floor etc, she crawls or in her case, side steps , precursor to walking in a straight line, away ! But pick up my phone and she's back over like a shot, into my lap and or if Im still lying on floor, she launches herself at my face open mouthed and smoothes me and then slaps me around for good measure. I don't want you right now but no one else can have you !!
I have figured the more independent she gets the more she needs / wants me. And it is my duty to make sure her environment is safe for her to explore and she is secure to leave me and get up in it. As in mentally and emotionally safe to feel like she can side step away from me. That she can go play and look back to see me. I try to encourage this very thing at the coffee playgroups I go to. We get in there and find a spot , I set up shop from there essentially. Her coat , my bag is visible to her and I place her onto floor from there so like a homing pigeon she can come back if she needs to. I do stop short of a trail of breadcrumbs , she would just eat them. She then , and it seems to be working, toddles off on an adventure. A little too well as someone said to me, you could go shopping and come back and she wouldn't even notice. I had mixed feeling at that , yah she feeling good and secure to be independent , and nay, I don't want to leave her and I don't want her to not notice Im gone.
I was talking to Mums who have and are about to go back to work. It's the same for them. They don't want tears at the door from their wee ones but at the same time indifference can be just as upsetting. Few sniffles and a wave would be good, and thats just mum leaving for work. It is a dammed if you do dammed if you don't, scenario for parents. Not just the going off to work internal guilt battle but the tight rope of letting our kids be separated from us in a positive way.
I have to say raising teens this gets no easier. When you become a parent your whole being is about protecting your child, not letting them get squished by life. First it's physically, you do everything for them, then you move away as above to letting them strike out on their own like letting them fall over in the playroom to letting them go afar in the playground but with in yelling distance. Then to just holding their hand when you crossing the road , to just being the voice that tells them what to do and hope they listen , but they are still with in your reach. To finally being the voice you hope they hear in their heads when making choices. You literally go from stopping them getting squished to having tell them not to get squished to sitting on your hands and letting life squish them so they can make their own mistakes I mean choices in life.
I feel like Im in that game of leap frog across a busy road and with each successful year/ level I complete , it gets harder and harder and more cars and hazards and my frog moves further and further away from me and I can only watch the near misses !
So I guess as I read back over this , I will be thankful that she wants to be near me, even if it is in the toilet, I will let her make as many toilet roll paper statues as required. I will stay within sight for her at coffee groups because this all to soon will be a memory. I will be dropping her off on the corner , she won't need me as much and I will ultimately miss it. Even in the bathroom.