My sensitive, delicate little flower turns on a dime. She can be a happy, adjusted little three year old on moment, and a pouty, needy kid the next. I never know when this switch will take place, and once it happens, how long it will take for her to shake it. Most nights she goes to bed no problem. I say, "Sweet dreams," and she says it back. Last night she hugged me tightly and said, "Mommy, I love you and I don't want you to leave. I want to be with you." At this point I am backed into a corner. I can try to comfort her, and leave, which never works. Or I can say I'll come in and check on you when you fall asleep. That works sometimes, but then she calls out asking when I am coming back in.
I have gone to the books on this issue and let me tell you -- they don't work! Every kid is different and general solutions don't work on my kid. She is tricky and extremely persistent. We fix a undesirable habit of hers and it reappears again. She goes off to school great for a while, then suddenly one day won't let go of me again. She sleeps through the night without calling out, then five days later it starts again. It's frustrating but not abnormal. Patience just doesn't seem my strong suit lately. My husband seems much more skilled at ending a tantrum or turning her mood around lately. My tricks don't seem to work that well right now. Plus I think she has an added reserve of stamina for her mama.
Trial and error, as always. As awful as it is for both of us when she grabs to hold on to me, I have to remember that it is sweet how much she loves me. That need of wanting me physically close is only going to be around for so long.