I blogged a few months ago about how R, my gorgeous eight year old was heading full throttle into the teenage years. He was happy, confident, independent and starting to go out to play with friends or out on his bike quite happily.
Sadly that has all changed. Over the summer, something happened to make him lose that confidence and independence and I cannot think for the life of me what has happened.
Suddenly around the middle of the holidays, he became ridiculously clingy. Clingy to the point of ridiculousness. He had to be at mine or my husband's side, if we were out of his sight for longer than thirty seconds, he would be screaming 'mummy' or 'daddy' at the top of his voice. We couldn't even go to the toilet without him lurking at the door.
For a couple of weeks, he struggled to settle at night and each bedtime was followed by constant appearances from him, sometimes until eleven o'clock. He even came into our bed in the night, which he has never done before.
I have to explain that R has always been the reliable and sensible one of my children. He was an amazing baby, he has always slept well, eaten well and apart from a few issues when he first started school, he has been the model child. Maybe we have been spoilt? Maybe it is his turn to have a 'funny'? I don't know, but it is like he has had a personality transplant.
My husband and I have wracked our brains to try and work out what has triggered it. There was one incident at the park when my husband and his mum took the three children and whilst the boys were playing, my husband took A to the back of the park to go to the toilet. R lost sight of them for a few minutes, but they were soon back in his sight and it did worry him, but he should know that we would never leave him, not even for a minute.
Two or three weeks on and he is a little better. We have tried talking to him but he doesn't seem to know what has caused this dramatic change in behaviour or doesn't want to talk about it. We have reassured him endlessly and at times I have got a little annoyed with him. It is a bit like having a stalker. I tell him I'm going out to hang the watching and two minutes later he is there asking me what I'm doing and often jumping out of my skin at the same time. He has also become neurotic about his brother and sister, he has to know where they are and what they are doing at any moment. Poor L, we were walking home from somewhere one day and he was ambling along ahead of us and R kept grabbing him by the throat in an effort to stop him going to far ahead. It sounds amusing, but it is really strange behaviour. He won't go out to play now and his bike has been redundant for three weeks.
I am at a bit of a loss. I am trying not to make a bigger deal of it. I am reassuring him a lot and I make a point of telling him what I'm doing and where I'm going. I do hope that in time it gets better. Is it normal behaviour at this age as they suddenly become aware of the wider world and the fact that bad things happen? If anyone can shed any light on this or offer any advice in the matter, I would be grateful as I would really like my confident, happy little 'tweenager' back.