All children go through clingy phases at various points throughout their lives, and I think these phases may be a bit more pronounced when the children are being reared by at least one stay-at-home or work-at-home parent. For the entire first year of her life, Cadence had a hard time letting me stray more than five feet away from her. Hell, there were days when I would actually check to see if somehow the umbilical cord was still attached. She wanted her Momma, and no amount of coaxing or cooing or promises of bottles or cookies could make her change her mind.

By Cadence’s first birthday, I’d all but forgotten what it was like to eat a hot meal. Instead, I took to inhaling bits of food when I could and trying to schedule Cadence’s naps around our meals. I was lucky if the food on my plate was still lukewarm by the time I finally pried myself from my daughter’s grasp.

I’ll admit, there were times I worried about Cadence’s clinginess. While I didn’t want to scar her by forcing her to interact with other people, I also knew that it was good for her to be away from her Momma and spending time with other people on occasion. Hell, at one point, Steven even began to wonder if it was possible that his infant daughter hated him when even he had to practically pry her from my arms so I could shower or run to the store or even just get a 5-minute break.

The funny thing was though, that in spite of Cadence’s clinging, she was still very interested in interacting with people from a distance. When we went out to eat in restaurants, she would bat her beautiful eyes and smile at the other customers seated near us. Sometimes, she would even wave and them, or show off by clapping her hands or holding up a toy for them to admire.

Now that Cadence is older, she is a much more independent child. Sure, she still seems to prefer her Momma and her Daddy to anyone else, and I often joke about the fact that she likes me so much that she feels the need to be touching me every moment of the day, but these days our little girl is one of the friendliest you’ll meet. Depending on her mood, or how close it is to her nap time, she will play shy or hard to get. And sometimes when she is first introduced to new people or a new environment, she will stick close by our sides for a few moments, taking it all in and assessing the situation before diving in. But overall, Cadence is an outgoing, happy-go-lucky girl these days. She waves and gives an enthusiastic “Hiiiieeee!!! Hiiiiiieeee!!!” to the clerks in the checkout lanes at the grocery store. She smiles at people, “talks” to them, and will give a high five to just about anyone who asks.

The best, by far, is watching her interact with her large family. Slowly, she is learning to say the names of all of her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and she gets so excited to see them. Since arriving in Arizona, Cadence has been having a blast with her Nonna, Poppa, Uncle Eddie, Uncle Beau, Uncle Kolter and Codi. Here are a few photos of her and Uncle Eh-ee (Eddie) playing outside with the animals.

Obviously Cadence’s #1 mission on this trip is to find a way to catch that kitty, and then to figure out how to call Daddy from Uncle Eddie’s phone to tell him about it.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to Cadence’s favorite Uncle Eddie and all they fun they are having together on our trip.

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