For the first two years of Norton’s life, I didn’t get much of his attention. I was like… furniture. You know, like that couch in the living room that’s always there. All of the really awesome things, like the snuggles of toddler affection and the enthusiasm for the return of a parent, were resolved for Daddy. I actually didn’t get toddler affection until after Eudora was born.
Once Eudora came along, suddenly Mommy was a desirable thing to have. It’s like he realized that he’d have to actually share my attention. Mommy’s time was no longer limitless and all his. Once he got over being angry with me for bringing home a new baby and being gone for so long (and leaving him at his grandmother’s for so long since the husband and I were both sick with the stomach flu when we brought Eudora home), he decided that he liked me.
And that’s when I started getting my very own toddler affection. That’s when Norton started giving me hugs. That was when I finally, finally got to experience hugs and snuggles.
Now? Very often when I go get Norton out of bed in the morning, he will launch himself at me for a hug. It’s the kind of hug where I either catch him and wrap my arms around him or get knocked down. I get lots and lots of kisses. I get cuddles when we watch Sesame Street for the ten thousandth time. (Not coincidentally enough, I get those cuddles about the time that I’m starting to think that it’s time to throw the television in the yard.)
The hugs and kisses aren’t the only things that have changed. Once upon a time, any time I would sing to Norton, he’d let out this high pitched scream to let me know how much he hated it. Now? Well, he’s not always receptive (and sometimes that horrible sound still comes out), but we have our little goldfish song for when he eats those crackers. And he’ll dance when I change the words to Elmo’s World to be all about him. Or he’ll run under my legs when I do a silly dance to his Let’s Rock Elmo or his Cookie Monster keyboard. When he does those things, at that precise moment, I know that my little boy really does love me, and that Mommy is something special in her own right.
Those are the little details in life that I never, ever want to forget. Those are the fun parts of being a mom that I want to remember when I’m old. I’m not a weepy person by nature… but after waiting so long for those signs of toddler affection from my little boy, I do tear up sometimes after I get that last dozen kisses good night. (Especially since I know that Daddy doesn’t get anywhere near that much.)
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