Zosia has been quite the independent toddler lately. She has been happy to go on outings with family members other than Ben and myself. She has been going for "playdates" in the neighborhood all by herself. This morning while at the store assembling supplies for our homebirth/new baby, she announced "bye bye" before wandering into a totally different section. A minute later, she was led back to me by a woman who announced that Zosia had been looking for a "strappy sandal." This afternoon at the playground there was a neighborhood kid gathering, and she, for the first time ever, was totally happy to just climb around on the playground by herself, no mommy or daddy at hand to help her out. She even climbed up this pretty steep "climbing wall" before Ben and I realized it, and went down the tallest slide at the playground while squealing "wee!" All this just goes to show that kids are constantly going through developmental stages, are constantly changing, and are full of surprises. I never would have imagined any of this behavior from Zosia a couple weeks ago, let alone a couple months ago. She truly has started to experiment with independence, and it is beautiful and exciting to watch.
But just as I was applauding having one baby bird out of the nest, we came home from the park, and I realized that Zosia is not quite done with her "attached" phase. All evening, she clung to me like she was clinging for her life. I couldn't even put her in her high chair for dinner-- she would dissolve into hysterics if I tried to put her down. So I spent the next two hours with a toddler on my hip, my lap, any position that maintained maximal body-to-body contact. I guess after a really really independent day, Zosia just needed to be assured that she is still cared for, that she still has a mama that can hold her, and that she is still a little person and not an independent adult. And that's totally okay.