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October 25, 2009

Gabe is turning into a little home-body. The first time he threw a temper tantrum because we weren’t home was Labor Day weekend, when we were visiting family. Tim and I thought it was kind of cute when he crawled into his car seat, crossed his arms and refused to move until we took him “home”. Unfortunately, it was 11pm, we were in Green Bay after a long day on the road, and there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that was going to happen like Gabe wanted it to. It wasn’t so bad for the rest of the weekend, although Gabe still reminded us every now and then that he wanted to go home. We thought it was cute.

We made an unexpected trip home a few weeks ago. We’d gotten the news that Tim’s grandpa was in the hospital, and after I got permission for a trip from my doctor, we decided to visit him. Gabe again got really upset when he couldn’t go home, and was much more upset than before. He loved visiting with his Grandpa and Grandma, but wanted nothing more than to “Go Home!”. Again Tim and I figured that we were a bit more emotional than usual with the concern over Grandpa, and things were unusual, and Gabe was out-of-sorts as a result. We thought it was understandable.

However, Gabe is now more of a homebody than ever. When we run errands, Gabe has a short tolerance, then demands, loudly and insistently, to go home. Today he refused to put his shoes or coat on, was upset to see Tim putting his own coat on and demanded that he take it off, and wouldn’t even be bribed by ice cream (and he’s very partial to soft-serve ice cream cones). He finally decided to go shopping with us when Tim offered to let him drive – Gabe helps Tim steer down the driveway, then we put him in his car seat. One of the reasons we were running today was to pick up the new-ish Thomas the Train movie for Gabe, and the new Shaun the Sheep for me. Once Gabe realized he was getting Thomas, he of course demanded that we go home immediately to watch it. And interspersed through all of our activities today was the familiar, and slightly-irritating-at-this-point refrain demanding to go home.

It’s actually kind of convenient in one way that Gabe is so home-focused lately. I’m pregnant, and doing my best to avoid the H1N1 flu bug that, according to my doctor, is deeply embedded in Platteville right now. Doctor’s advice is to stay away from public areas more now than usual. Today was my first time out and about this week, other than my prenatal appointment. Maybe shopping wasn’t the best way to stay healthy, but I was going a little bit crazy at home so much, and just needed the change of scenery.

What I find most interesting about all this is that Gabe is so attached to the concept of home. When he first wakes up Monday morning, and Tim’s gone to work, Gabe is upset that Daddy isn’t home. When Tim calls to let me know he’s left the office each evening, Gabe always asks if Daddy’s coming home. And when Tim walks in the door, Gabe races over to him screaming “HOME!!!”. Gabe will frequently race over and plow into me during the day, giving me a very rambunctious, little-boy-hug, and comment that we’re home with a big smile. My son loves his home.

What I wonder is why Gabe has such an attachment to home. He’s never been in day-care, never really been separated from me except on rare occasions – and only when Dad, Uncle Shaun, grandparents or Aunt LeeAnn are there with him. He’s never had attachment issues, and is a confident, secure kid. We spend alot of time at home, and Tim and I both have the general attitude that our family is our top priority, so we do things as a family. I’m glad that Gabe feels safe and secure at home; that home is a special place for him. It means that I’ve succeeded, in a way, at being a home-maker. I just worry that his attitude is too-much-of-a-good-thing kind of thing. Then again, he’s three, so it’s probably not anything to worry about just yet. Now, if he’s 18 and refusing to leave the house, then I’ll have a problem!

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