Saturday, October 20, 2007

Let's hit rewind

G has always been a tough nut to crack. From the time she was born, she has never been as affectionate as her big brother.

As a baby, L was a roly poly Buddha who loved to be held, cuddled, tickled and kissed. By everyone pretty much, but he’s always been especially snuggly with his parents and grandparents. Even to this day, if Grandma or Grandpa walk into the room, he’ll go over and give them a quick hug and peck on the cheek. And if Ian or I happen to steal a hug or kiss when we're picking him up from a friend's after a playdate, he doesn't really mind. He will even still sit on my knee occasionally when we're reading, all 60 pounds of him, just so he can be close and snuggle.

Not so the little one. I never thought I would ever use this word to describe a baby, but “stoic” seemed appropriate, even as a newborn. Unlike her little cousins, who've been cooing and smiling away at their parents since they were about two months old, I don't think G cracked her first smile until she was over the age of 4 months. She used to cry whenever she saw my parents; she's still not particularly warm to them unless we prime her; once she warms up to them (takes about 20 minutes or so) she loosens up, chats away, but will rarely allow a hug. A squirmy wormy she is. We don't know what it is. Sometimes when I sneak a kiss, she wipes it away with her hand and races away from me as if she's been kissed by the devil. Her own mother.

At bedtime, which is Daddy time for both kids, she'll sit through a couple of bedtime stories, tolerate her daddy's kiss as he tucks her in, and then whisper in her tiny voice "Daddy, go away."

We've just been so used to that from her. She will get cuddly when she's tired, or if she's hurt. During those occasions she'll take all the TLC she can get. And she also seems to have a soft spot for her big brother. He must have a magical touch with her, as she has a reserve of spontaneous hugs for him and him alone.

G CAN be affectionate. She's fiercely independent and so proud of what she can do on her own. Like everything else with her, it just has to be on her terms. She needs her space and she'll be very clear about if and when you can invade it. Her father and I just keep up with our attempts as per usual, with both the kids. We're not an exceptionally touchy-feely family, but we think it's important for them to know that such displays of affection are more than welcome in this household. Ian's a bit better at that than me, but then I am a Snake Mother.

So I could hardly believe it the other day, while we were getting ready for play school, when she decided to practice kisses on my cheek. She planted five sweet puckers on me, all in a row, just after I caught her from our daily wardrobe change/chase. Her little pixie face all flushed and smiling, I couldn't resist kissing her back as I pulled her up close to me.

She grabbed my face with her little hands, stared at me with her sparkling eyes and declared the following:

"I love your kisses, Mommy."

What a precious, magical mommy moment that was. I almost wept, but didn't, as I didn't want to have to explain why mommy was crying. Didn't want to confuse the girl. If only I could have captured that moment in time somehow, to experience being awash with love from the top of my head to the tingles in my toes in that nanosecond, and replay it over and over again.

I'm sure I'll have more of those "wow" times with my little girl as she grows, continues to amaze me and comes even more into her own. I just hope they won't be so few and far between.


Kellan said...

Oh, what a touching post. I could just see her holding your face in her hands... How sweet. She's a "second" child. I was a second child (also middle) - that's just the way we are. She's just sure of what she wants and needs - that's all. She sounds simply adorable. I'm glad you had this special moment! See ya.

Family Adventure said...

Don't worry, Karen, she'll be the one who stays close during the teenage years, when Liam is off galavanting around! By then, her rebelling will be all done.

And you know, if she was touchy-feely all the time, you wouldn't have appreciated that moment QUITE so much :)

- Heidi

Beck said...

My oldest is a lot like her - very physcially reserved - and I still remember the first time she ever voluntarily kissed me. I thought my heart would stop!
(and I'm a rat mother.)

C said...

What a sweet post!!! Oh, and isn't it great that you can blog about all these wonderful kiddie moments and then look back on your posts in a few years!? Sweet~

Badness Jones said...

It's amazing how they come out of the womb with their personalities already intact. My daughter is the kissy one, and her little brother will allow if for only so long before he's off on his conquest of the world. Enjoy the moments when they come! - and thanks for the comment the other day, my first one!

pinks & blues girls said...

So very sweet, Karen! Don't roll your eyes, but my little girl Ryder (yes, my dog!) is the same way. She doles out affection at her discretion, so when she comes and snuggled with me, it's a real treat!!

Jane, Pinks & Blues

Karen MEG said...

Kellan- thanks for your insight - you're quite in tune with her!
Heidi, let's hope she doesn't become a growing concern LOL!
beck-I think it makes sense; not every person is that affectionate, so why should all kids be, right? It's just sweeter when they're as cuddly as they look.
c-exactly why I started the blog in the first place! Glad you made it home safe! What a whirlwind trip!
Badness - love that name, BTW, thanks for popping by! I'm honored to be the first :)

Karen MEG said...

Hi Jane -I didn't roll the eyes; I've seen the various personalities of dogs and cats and I could very much see that happen. Thanks for the comment!

Linda said...

Hi, first time here. Lovely post. I, too, have kids that are not so affectionate. As they have grown into teenagers, I've learned to see it as part of their whole personalities, personalities vastly different from mine. It didn't matter that I hugged and kissed them a million times a day when they were little; it wasn't (isn't) their primary love language. Your rejoicing in this spontaneous moment of affection reminds of when I've heard parents of autistic children be so swept away at the smallest signs of emotional attachment from that child. I'm guessing that you and I can understand their elation a tad more than the average mom! anyway, great post.

Karen MEG said...

Hi Linda, thanks for stopping by and for your comment. I think you hit it on the head, it's just not the way she expresses her love. At least not at this stage of the game.


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