We’re having Kavya…

We're having Kavya difficulties. Starting about three days ago, she became incredibly clingy to me, bursting into tears if I tried to move away. At first, I was pretty happy to just cuddle her, since it's spring break and I have a lot more free time this week; I'd been looking forward to spending more time with her, especially since last week was pretty crazy with work and I barely saw her and I missed her. But today she was saying she didn't like Jarmila, that she was afraid of her, which is just bizarre, since Jarmila is unfailingly gentle and sweet with Kavi.

Kavya kept climbing up into my lap, making it pretty impossible to do anything other than watch tv (her shows, of course), read, or talk on the phone. And I would still be happy to snuggle with her more, but it's not actually good for her to just sit on the couch cuddling with me for hours upon hours. Jarmila has the energy to take her out to play, or to the library, and I am still too tired for much of that. Plus, of course, I relaxed all of yesterday, but I actually do have a lot of work (mostly on the computer) to do this week, and I have to get some of it done. We wish we knew what was going on in Kavi's little head.

Three theories:

  • Adding the two mornings a week of Adriana (started two weeks ago) has just made it too many mornings without much mama. If that's the case, it's a short-term problem, at least, since this is just to get us through to the end of the semester.

  • Anand is getting more demanding as he gets older, and wants a lot more active play. This is more of a problem, if that's what's bothering her, since I'm not sure when he'll start getting more self-sufficient. Right now, he can't quite sit up on his own -- well, he can, but he falls over often, and you have to tip him up again, and pay attention. He also likes trying to stand, which requires help. And he can roll over now, and does, but it often makes him mad when he ends up on his back instead of his front, or vice versa, depending on his mood. Which requires more attention and soothing. I think within a month or two, he'll be crawling, and hopefully his mood will improve, but in the meantime, Kavi's getting somewhat short shrift from all the childcare folks.

  • My giving her more attention starting on Saturday (with the start of spring break) has somehow triggered a desire for even more? I have no idea how to deal with that, though, since I don't want to stop cuddling my daughter. But I also don't want her permanently attached to my lap.

Any advice would be appreciated; we were all pretty frustrated this morning. I tried to work at home and just chat with her but not pick her up, and although Jarmila was ready and eager to play with her, Kavi went upstairs and woke up Kevin instead (after he'd only been asleep four hours) and made him snuggle her. Eventually he went back to sleep and I came out to the cafe to work, leaving her crying as I walked out the door. Argh. Although apparently, she's fine with Jarmila as soon as I leave.

We're just not sure what's the best way to get her to be calm and happy girl again. All the tears are very upsetting.

2 thoughts on “We’re having Kavya…”

  1. > … leaving her crying as I walked out the door. Argh. Although apparently, she’s fine with Jarmila as soon as I leave.

    Amy and I have definitely encountered this with Juniper, who’s somewhat younger (just turning one), but still: If she wants her mom, and I pick her up to carry her out of the room, she’ll cry and be sad… For about ten seconds, until she remembers that daddy snuggles are also nice, and/or forgets about anything she can’t currently see. :^)

    There are times when she wants mama because she actually wants mama, but the behavior of bursting into tears when the desired parent (or object) is removed, and then being perfectly happy very soon thereafter, is one she’s been doing for a while, and which we’ve concluded is basically fine.

  2. We go through this on a regular basis! All of your theories seem plausible to me, which I know doesn’t help a lot. Some things that we’ve done:

    Talk about the change in her behavior, and wonder aloud whether it’s because of XYZ.

    Offer specific rituals (OH THE ENDLESS RITUALS) for changes, like when Jarmila comes to take over: read a book, then go; write a note, then go; set a timer; wave from the window; etc. V.’s daycare has children push the parents physically out the door!

    Talk through the day: this morning we’ll eat breakfast together, then Jarmila will come and we’ll read one book together and have three hugs and kisses and I’ll go work at the cafe and you’ll play. Maybe you’ll go to the park and then Jarmila will give you a snack and then I’ll come home and Jarmila will leave and we’ll have dinner. Or she might like to have a written list.

    I would definitely talk to her about how Anand is demanding more attention, and ask whether she needs a couple of special Kavya-times from her caretakers. Not that I think they’re neglecting her, of course, but it might help to name it: We know it’s hard that Anand gets so much attention, here is ten minutes where we’ll sing a song about Kavya and you can put stickers on Anand’s shirt.

    Kids are so freakin’ complicated.

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