I always had heard (and witnessed) that around 1, toddlers get clingy. I could never figure out why this happened and honestly, always thought it had something to do with the parents and coddling. Not that there is anything wrong with lots of baby love and snuggles, but it felt to me like it was edging towards the "helicopter parent" category.
Oh silly, silly mommy. How little I understood before having a one year old of my own!
Sophia has generally been a fairly independent little being - when she was very little, she'd happily play under her Rainforest for long periods (in baby time) while I could run around getting stuff done. Even still, in the mornings, she'll play in her crib for quite awhile before requesting our presence and her morning meal and even "read" some books before crawling out in search of us. None of these are the issue. What is becoming apparent is if anyone is to do any leaving, it is to be her, not me.
If I even so much as go to the bathroom, she chases me down at whacks on the bathroom door till I'm done, sobbing like I've left her with a pack of wild animals. (Talk about mastering the art of the 30 second bathroom visit. Another reason why women are moms and dads are guys. Enough said).
The worst part is not actually me leaving. There are occasionally a few tears and maybe some whining after I kiss her goodbye (Thank god for our sitter - she is amazing at distraction!). Rather, the drama ensues when I come home - whether it's after 45 minutes or 8 hours. The same response as she realizes - "Oh wow! I really missed her. I can't believe I didn't think of this before and now I shall tell her and everyone within a 2 mile radius exactly how I missed her." At which point she literally jumps into my arms and gives me a hug to end all hugs. It is quite possibly one of the best feelings ever (and, I'm not going to lie, occasionally overwhelming. Especially after coming in from a long car ride and having to go the bathroom. See previous paragraph). But it is a true testament to unconditional love.
Note the times that it is a bit much: when I meet her and Dave in Whole Foods after a run and she's been happily playing in the shopping cart and the sees me. Oh my - to all of my fellow customers, I'm really, really sorry for the racket. But what can I say, my daughter loves me and I her. (Thanks to the nice guy who works there for swooping in with some awesome dinosaur stickers.)