Baby Chickadee is always in my face. She is always RIGHTTHERE, always wanting interaction from Mommy.

Baby Chickadee is always in my face. She is always RIGHTTHERE, always wanting interaction from Mommy. Which is sweet that she adores me but, as she is also very bossy about our interactions, this is not conducive to much of anything. I spend my days cajoling her into “helping” me straighten up the bedrooms or put away laundry, trying to convince her that it’s super fun to pick up the house, just so that she doesn’t scream when we need to take a break from playing with Barbies.

I thought it was a phase and I’d complain to my friends; “Boy, Baby Chickadee sure wants a lot of attention right now! I can’t wait until she’s happy playing by herself for a little bit.” And then reading through old blog posts I realized one day that it was not a phase. Phases come and go. But her need for constant attention never waned; this is just her. She is the neediest of all my children and might always be so. And so I am strengthening myself, mentally preparing for a couple more years of Baby Chickadee always being RIGHTTHERE, me always being “on.”

The other day I also realized that it’s totally the older kids’ fault.

Last Monday G and Little Missy were home from school and I watched those two giggle, run around the living room, stop, and ask Baby Chickadee if she wanted to play, too. Before she even thought about getting involved, they were involving her. But it struck me most when she absent-mindedly walked through the living room and her sister grabbed her. “Hey, Baby Chickadee, do you want to lay in this blanket?” Baby Chickadee barely nodded her response before G and Little Missy rocked their sister for half a second in a makeshift hammock, Baby Chickadee walked/tumbled out of it and they followed her to play another of her games.

And I just thought, “That girl is so spoiled.”

Now, sometimes she runs behind them to catch up with their fun and it takes them a minute to notice her. But Little Missy grants her little sister access to her closed bedroom when a friend is over playing, a treat her brother dares not attempt, for he knows squeals of “Get out!” will greet him; G chases her around the house as Baby Chickadee screams in delight; then when Daddy gets home it is Super Hulk with all three kids, and when she gets bored of that she is on my lap with a book or under my legs in the kitchen, pushing her way into a spot on the counter where she can help me cook.

That Baby Chickadee constantly needs someone to play with. And I lovingly blame the older kids for perpetuating the problem.

Erin Fox is a weekly columnist for the Augusta Gazette. Her popular blog - erin’s little corner can also be found on our webpage,