Niko’s been having a hard time lately.
He’s been really wild and out of control, ignoring us quite a bit, temper tantrumming, insisting on sleeping with us, speaking in a baby voice/refusing to speak and just pointing at things, and having pants accidents. The kid who’s been potty trained for MONTHS is suddenly soiling himself. It was a pretty big, and worrisome, regression. He’s also been refusing to try to do things like look at letters, count, etc. This is the kind of stuff kids do when there’s something huge and new in their lives: when they move, when their parents divorce, when there’s a new baby, when zombies attack, etc. But nothing is going on!
Last night I sat with Niko as he sobbed and cried, after over an hour of walking him (or carrying him) and his pillow back to his own bed. I told him it was time to sleep. His brain needed sleep. His body needed sleep. He sobbed out that he didn’t WANT to grow up.
Let’s look at that, shall we?
I asked him some more questions. Why doesn’t he want to grow up? Is he afraid of growing up?
He told me that he didn’t want to grow up because that means I’d go away and he doesn’t want me to go away ever and leave him all alone.
Oh, sweet child.
So we cuddled and we talked about growing up and parents and how mamas and tatas always love their kids and we talked about how Nesko and I are still close to our parents. We love them and they love us. He calmed down and fell asleep and slept soundly in his bed all night.
This morning we had another talk about growing up and I reassured him that growing up is a gradual process. You don’t just wake up one day grown up, it takes a long time. We talked about how long it would take. He demanded to know an exact age when one is grown up and I told him 25. I promised him that I would always love him and would always be his mama. He said he didn’t want to have kids instead of a mama. I told him he could have kids AND have a mama, and I would be his kids’ baba, but that he didn’t have to have kids if he didn’t want to. He could choose not to have kids. He said he wanted to choose to have kids and also have a mama. He told me that he wanted to be a mama and have kids.
IF YOU ARE CURIOUS: the difference between a mama and a tata is tatas have DEEP VOICES and mamas have high voices. He demonstrated for me, including doing a pretty spot on impersonation of Nesko.
He’s been a little less clingy so far today, although the day is still young. We’ll see how he does tonight. I’m really tired of him joining us in bed. He pulls my hair and tries to push me out of bed. He jams his feet up under he and scrapes his toenails along my body. I hate it. I HATE IT. So hopefully he’ll sleep in his own little bed tonight.
IRONICALLY a few days ago he got super pissed and fired me, told me I wasn’t his mama anymore and I needed to go away and find a new home because a new mama was coming to our home. I told him I’d wait until his new mama got here. “NO DON’T DO THAT” he said. “YOU WILL BE HERE FOREVER. YOU WILL NEVER GO AWAY.” My firing offense? Not letting him eat candy for breakfast. WORST. MAMA. EVER. Later that day he forgave me and rehired me, though. And, yes, this current behavior regression predates this event.