Hiding Behind Mommy’s Leg

L is now 13 months old. Don’t get me started on how fast time flies, it honestly feels like she was born yesterday. She is now entering toddler stage, and walking running everywhere. One of her favorite things is to toddle along with me on the short journey to go an fetch her big brother from school. She will waddle down the sidewalk and every few steps she gets excited and breaks into a rather entertaining run jog quick wobble, it is quite amusing to watch, and all the while she will be yelling her brother’s name as she cheerfully races along.

L, Happy at Home!


At home L is an outgoing, independent little devil angel. She wanders from room to room basically doing as she pleases without much regard to anyone around. She might climb up on a lap to cuddle once in a while, but for the most part she is content doing her own thing.

But… you get her on to the school property where other mothers coo and caw at her cute charm (yes I am one of those mothers, I think my daughter is the cutest thing this side of ‘Babbling Boo’) When people, I should say – when adults try to talk to L her outgoing, adorable, crazy personality disappears, and she becomes by a shy, timid little girl peeking out from behind mommy’s leg.

It is humorous to watch, and especially happens when other ‘mothers’ talk to her. With men she will curiously stare as they speak, but another grown woman… she immediately clings to my leg and sometimes even cries! One of the parents in particular really gets her going.

A grandmotherly type woman, with a thick European accent and a warm caring face. This lovely lady (who must be in her late 70’s) is constantly telling me how beautiful my daughter is, how smart she is, and how cute she looks (all to which I can only reply: “I know” lol) But every time this kind-hearted woman attempts to talk to my daughter she shuts down….

Immediately L will stare at the ground, she refuses to look up, she shuffles her feet, and she often puts a hand up over her face to block the womans view… she acts SO shy…it’s funny as all hell to see, but it can be sad at the same time because should the woman continue, after L has seemingly made it clear she is wanting no part of this conversation, she will then come up beside me, barry her face in my leg, and burst into tears! Pouty lip and all!! God it really breaks your heart, but of course like the “mother of the year” I am… I can’t help but laugh!

I have to wonder where this shyness comes from, certainly not from me, I am probably the least shy person in the world. My son never had a ‘shy’ faze either so I am somewhat unsure of what the proper reaction is.. most of the time I just laugh at her and pick her up so she can press herself into my chest to hide from the scary grown-ups that want to say hello…

Truthfully I don’t want her to be shy, I don’t want to promote the behavior, but at the same time is it really that big a deal???

L has not been around many other people, besides close family, due most to the fact that her father is overprotective and sees her as a fragile little china doll that might smash to pieces at any moment… I have been trying to socialize her a bit more over the last few weeks, but as I said she is more content with us, or herself and shows no interest in talking to other grown-ups…. other children, she will just stand and watch as they play, unless it is her brother that is.

I take her to the park on warm days, the library, and for walks outside. She watches people, but rarely gets involved in what is going on… I will tell you the story of the library fiasco at a later date, but to sum it up she was watching a small boy as he was playing with a toy and when he attempted to have her join in on the fun she burst into tears… at which point this confused little beast slapped my bawling daughter across the face!!! LOL she was devastated and spent the rest of the time at the library sobbing soulfully as she hid behind my leg!!!

And so I wonder.. Should I force socialization? Do I make my daughter play, talk and interact? or Do I just sit back and allow nature to take its course? Letting her personality grow itself? Is it really that bad that she has no interest in other people? or Is it a phase that will soon pass?


3 thoughts on “Hiding Behind Mommy’s Leg

  1. Good questions you ask us here, but I am afraid I do not have the answer. Would be a kind of weird anyway to give parental advise at the age of 23. Still, I can share what I do believe is best from my own point of view. I am a firm believer in letting nature run is course and see what happen. Pushing people to do stuff naturally sorts the opposite effect on the long run. Everything that is meant to be will happen at some point anyway.

  2. Great post. Two out of my three kids were naturally sociable little things. My daughter was very shy when she was little. I decided not to push her, it was just my choice, and she ended up blossoming on her own. She is now more outgoing than my boys.

  3. My daughter was the same way! And she is still the shyest little thing around Anyone she meets, it wobbled on the line of snotty and rude for a little while. But I give her a little added help, like at the grocery store when a nice old woman says ‘hi’ and she gives her shy face (which looks a lot like the stink eye), we walk a little ways to avoid embarrassing the woman…and with in sight I require that she walk back over to the woman and say hello with a smile. She is 5 and I think for her it’s worse to have to go back and say hi to someone than just do it in the first place, so she’s actually getting better at saying hello, and that I’m hoping will lead into maybe the answering of a question…oh dreams of a mother! Lol

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