I KNOW how bad that sounds...but hear me out.
So a little history. Currently I live with my partner (DP) and my soon to be ex (DH), and our four children. It works for us, and is amazing - we are all great friends. DP has raised DD#1 since she was 7months old (now 4.5).
DD#1 has always been very social, very talkative, very in your face. And thats completely fine with us. She has also always been the one who loves cuddles, and snuggles, and many hugs and kisses - also completely fine. She still co-sleeps with DP and I on occassion, also fine.
DH has worked since before DD#1 was born, and I have been working for about 1.5yrs now. As I said, DP has been there, helping to raise DD#1 since 7months so its definitely not a caregiver thing.
But there are two issues...
1) She is having a really hard time lately adjusting to me and DH going to work. So much so that it is affecting her sleep. She wakes up just to be up when we go - even if we tell her at night before we go to bed that we work (and we work mon-fri same times, but I know days and times are sometimes lost on little children so we have no problems telling her everynight). We try giving her lots of hugs and kisses. I would be okay with her waking up to see us off if she went back to sleep, but she doesnt. She gets upset, and whines a lot which inevitably wakes up the other children - so all the kids are over tired for the remainder of the day - especially DD#1. I dont know how to help her depend on us a little less, or help her adjust to the working. (I have posted just this question over in working parents as well).
2) She is very very very clingy on adults. She goes to a waldorf preschool 3 half days a week. This is her second year, so its not like its new. Last year, when she was the youngest she was always following the teacher around, always wanted to sit on her lap, help her, etc - which we chalked up to it being new, and her being the youngest. This year, she is one of the older kids in the class and still having the same issue. Only, because she is 4.5 it's now very demanding. The waldorf teacher does an amazing job, and is not bothered by this in the least (or so they tell us), but they are questioning moving her to kindergarten in the fall because the teachers there wont have as much time to devote to DD#1 as they do. I dont think this is a developmental thing - I think this is just how she is. Same if we set up a playdate with a friend from her class. Even if her and the other child are best of friends, she clings off the parent. Wants to do everything with the parent. It's like she is seeking some validation and attention from adults all the time. I dont know how to assist her in becoming less dependant onthe adults that surround her. But I dont want her to be held back, because I dont think it would be good for her either.
Thoughts? Is this normal 4.5yr old behaviour?