These days, my almost 18-month-old takes great pride in asserting her budding independence in a thousand different ways during the day, whether it is wanting to carry her own diaper bag or trying to put on her own shoes. She wants to eat like a big girl, drink from a cup like a big girl, climb into the car like a big girl. And finally, Cadence is even becoming quite sociable, waving and saying hi and even flirting with strangers in restaurants, getting excited to go with her Daddy to the grocery store, and squirming out of my arms to be held by one of her grandparents.

Yet, for all of her independence, Cadence still follows me around the house like a 2-foot shadow, never quite letting me out of her sight. She is never more than two steps behind me, tugging at my pant leg, climbing up on me the moment I try to sit down. Some days, I still have to try and distract her and then make a mad dash for the bathroom when I feel the urge to go, hurrying to close the door before she can stick her little fingers through the crack.The only time she ever leaves me alone is if I happen to leave my laptop sitting out somewhere unattended.

Case in point– this was my view tonight while I was cooking dinner…

Cadence is what the Jersey Shore folk would call a “Stage 5 Clinger”. If she wasn’t so darn cute, I might have to complain about being the object of her obsession. But, even on the days when she drives me completely crazy and makes it hard to get anything done, I find it hard not to smile when she stands in front of me, arms out, palms upturned, asking for Momma to pick her up and snuggle.

Today’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to all the Mommas of the Clingers out there. We better enjoy it while we can, because before we know it, these sweet snuggly babies are going to turn into surly teenagers who won’t even want to be seen sitting in the same zip code, let alone on their Momma’s laps. And about the time that happens, I plan to break out the old clingy baby photos just like this one. Blackmail is a beautiful thing.

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