Monster Man has always been a bit clingy to me. The clingy-ness comes in spurts, getting progressively worse, then better, then worse again. He's always loved to be by my side when he isn't playing a video game, reading a book, or drawing. If I'm sitting by him when he's playing a video game, there are even times when he practically sits on top of me. We just figured he was a cuddly kind of boy, one who loved to hug and to spend time with me. There are times that the clinging seems to resemble separation anxiety, but we can usually work past it when it gets that bad. He also likes to say "I love you" a lot more than the other kids. Again, we just figured it was part of how loving he is. It never occurred to us that this isn't normal, that this might be part of something bigger.
I learned yesterday that this is actually part of his Tourette Syndrome. It seems to be more of the OCD side, if I'm reading right. It appears that many kids with TS seem to fear that something might happen to their parents, to the point that some call their parents, text them, etc multiple times a day just to say "I love you". Though he doesn't call me or text me, he does seem to feel the need to say it multiple times a day, even multiple times in an hour. He can be in one room and I'll be in another, and he'll yell "Mommy" from where he is. As soon as I ask what he needs, he'll just answer with "I love you." To me, there seems to be many worse problems to have than to have a child that loves you, but it does tend to be a problem when the clingy-ness gets to be a little disruptive to my classwork, his homework, and getting other things done.
Another part of his OCD and TS that I hadn't realized was part of the big picture was how often he apologizes. It broke my heart before to realize how much he was apologizing, since I thought that he must constantly think he is doing wrong. I thought that he might be a little depressed thinking that he was this person that needed to apologize for everything. He apologizes for every little thing sometimes, including apologizing for apologizing. Sometimes he apologizes for his "I love you"s because he thinks it's an inconvenience (I've told him that, while there are times that I need him to be quiet - like when I'm taking a test for school - I don't mind him saying "I love you", and that there is never a need to apologize for loving anyone). This need to apologize also seems to come in spurts, but I never realized that the need to apologize was part of his TS and OCD until I read about this yesterday, right along with the information on the clinging and the need to say "I love you".
I must say that I am a bit relieved to find out that his need to apologize is all part of what he is already dealing with. It is much easier to think about than the depression that I had previously thought might be to blame.