A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: affection

Pillow Talk

Something my three-year-old little man requests that is among my favorite things in this world: snuggling in our bed. Usually when he asks it’s not a good time, and some type of avoidance strategy…like sleepy time or something of a similar sort. But, this morning I’d just showered; Warrior Queen was still asleep; I was tickled to have him knock on our bedroom door asking for a snuggle in our bed. I lay down, and he insists on tucking me in…making sure I’m warm, then burrows into me.

Funny thing is that I’m not a particularly cuddly person…like to comedic proportions. But, that needed to stop bringing children into this world. My general presence is aloof, standoffish, and intimidating. It comes in handy working with at-risk and incarcerated populations…and as a manager. Everything is about a time and place. I’m an exceptional disciplinarian, so it’s paramount I’m able to balance my brusque immediacy with snuggles and Mommy lovin’. I have an unscientific ratio: for every one negative interaction, I try to communicate three positive ones. Mostly I’m successful, if for no other reason than I’m paying attention to when my kids do something lovely. Other than my son reaching the age of threenager, he’s a sweet and loving child. I like to think I’m doing something right.

My often harsh demeanor receiving requests for snuggles makes even the most heinous tantrum and oppressive guilt evaporate into the hazy early summer atmosphere. I don’t think there is adequate vocabulary to describe the sensation washing over me as my son rests his head on some portion of my upper anatomy…never able to squeeze quite close enough to me. Even if he is harboring a fugitive in his diaper with a smell that allows me to push off waxing my facial hair for the near future, I’ll hold him tighter. He won’t always ask these moments of me…probably sooner than I want to admit.

Image result for seagulls

(Even The Telegraph seagull looks dubious of Little Man’s diaper findingssavvy bird.)

Sometimes he’ll snuggle for ten minutes in a clip, sometimes have me read to him. But, sometimes they are quick, jerky stretches like this morning when he leaps from my marriage bed to retrieve his Minnie and Mickey stuffed animals. He carts them in tandem, but expressed overt preference for the former. My husband or I have to tuck her in every night. But, this morning he scampers down the hall subsequently returning with full arms…the stuffed animals are at least half his expansive height. Naturally, his heinously diseased dog mushed among the plush mice. I watch as my husband’s child removes the top of the two pillows because my husband does not sleep on it, and organizes his friends on the designated sleeping pillow. Shaking laughs erupt in spilling tears knowing the queasingly grotesque doggie is sprawled where my husband lies, and in moments he will discover it exiting the restroom. Sure, I could have instructed my son to move him, but such things are a losing battle in our house; Mr. Man insists in caring for all who mean the most to him…Besides, often that horrible dog is on my side of the bed. My husband is obligated to take one for the plague exposed team. Had I foreseen such events, I’m sure we would have managed it in our ketubah or marriage vows…just in case.

Image result for worn stuffed animal

(Neatorama agrees nothing tops such a toy resting peacefully on your pillow.)

Little Man was oblivious to my behaviors, concerned only for his friends as he climbs the bed to adequately cover all three with sheets. Satisfied all of us are warm, my son completes the remaining pieces of his typical bedtime routine, which includes the reprimands I give him nightly for dragging his feet through the teeth brushing/changing transition and haunting outside our bedroom door for entirely too late into the night.

My son is a good sleeper, but goes through waves of having difficulty settling at night. It’s likely because I allow him to sleep too long for his nap, but since I’ve been starting his naps earlier, the evenings have been a bit smoother. Last night, however, it was a long nap that started much too late. I suppose I’ve never sweated such things, as Mr. Man almost never sleeps past seven regardless of when he is finally down for the count. These days, however, I’m lucky to squeeze in exercise before both kids are up by six-thirty.

Amused I’m watching him turn on the light because he prefers a low lit desk lamp at night. He reiterates the conversations I have with him during his tuck in and room exit. He enters and exists the room repeatedly, closing the door gently. It’s all so familiar, but decidedly less amusing when it’s my turn. I’ve learned to love a “snuggle, hug, kiss, and smooch” as much as the next Mommy, but at some point, the kid needs to go to sleep.

Kiss the Girl

Warrior Queen is my co-piolet this evening, playing in her bouncy seat while my husband and Mr. Man play hide-and-seek with a side helping of chase. My son is exuberantly laughing in the other room, and the joy on his face compensates for the tantrum earlier prompted by a truncated nap. My daughter is joyous as well, kicking her toys over the edge of the plastic top of her surrounding ring; subsequently peering over.

In the last couple days she’s grown with the capacity for spontaneous affection, which can only mean one thing: baby kisses. It’s been a long time, but I’ve missed their grotesque wonder. Holding her, I raise her belly to my lips for a faux raspberry over her shirt. She rewards me with her wide, beaming smile before diving in to eat my face.

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(FantasyStock knows this is the last thing you see before you feel your face coated in a massive circumference of wet.)

Little Man’s were few and far between, but Warrior Queen provided several before her brother distracted her. It was an unceremonious end with toddler pleas to set the baby aside; Little Man wanted belly tickles too. He reciprocated with his special brand of affection, and some things are never too sweet.

Terms of Affection

My son and I have a game these days.  I ask him where his belly is; with huge smiles he lifts up his shirt and points to or pats his belly.  When finished he runs up to me, lifts my shirt and pats mine.  Often he pokes my belly button, but sometimes my growing belly gets a hug.  Little Man doesn’t necessarily understand what is happening, but he notices a change, and I think he senses there is something special about it.  The depth of what he suspects, but cannot fully understand drives him to take initiative approaching my increasing girth randomly throughout the day; gently patting and hugging it before resting his chin on me and looking up with a beaming smile.

He is actually quite sweet with younger children, albeit the younger children that surround him are not all that much of a divide from his birthday.  With his friend who is a month younger, I was surprised that they interact and play together; I always assumed exclusive parallel play at their age, but with these two, not the case.  I could watch them all day.  This friend of his can be rough; his pats bordering on excited aggression capable of leaving longer term welts, but my son rolls with the less than pleasant experiences without a notice.

Then there is the sweet little girl who is three months his junior.  She is only starting to walk, but endlessly enjoyed chasing my little man, and Little Man enjoys being chased.  It was obvious she was not the deft mover as he quite yet, so he would travel a short distance, stop, turn, and wait for his companion to gain some ground before charging off again.

Time will tell how my son will tolerate his baby sister.  He and I are very close, so sharing me might cause an issue.  But, I think to some of his sweet, touching moments with his peers or the ones when he exhibits patience and tolerance, and can’t help but feel excited anticipation with their future interactions.  My son is such a tender, loving soul.  It will do him good to expand his unconditional world just as his father and I have.

Red Rover, Red Rover, Come Hug Me All Over

Yet, another thing that probably makes me a terrible person.  Many times when my son is upset, not on the verge of a full blown meltdown, but losing his patience and generally feeling as though I am not properly tending to him in the moment, I will sit on the floor in front of him trying one of my various distraction techniques.  He’ll remain stationary for a moment fussing before limping along to me in needy pleads.  He doesn’t hug quite yet, but he will stand up and fall on me, almost gripping whatever part of me is in his reach.  I hold him, which usually does little to satisfy him, but I hold off completely meeting his needs because I love the feeling of him climbing on me in desperate bodily gestures.  Only moments pass before I embrace him in the way that is sure to calm, but I do love the rising climax…

Not all of his pre-contemplative hug gestures are as dramatic.  Sometimes he is silly or in an unspecified jovial frame of mind, and in need of cuddles.  I greedily absorb every minute of his fumbling movements toward me and his tentative climbs to a standing position, gripping my shoulders, falling into me.

I love it the most when I’m standing, and he burrows his head into my legs, arms outstretched and grabbing.  Then, he will look up at me, chin grazing my legs with an adoring look that he must model after me because how can he simply know that expression?  It’s at this moment when I feel that piece of myself traveling independently of my person with moments of connecting flow.

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