Bud is not a cuddler. He does not really like to be touched, though he is getting better. I can tickle him. Well, if he is in the mood. I can hold him…so long as I do not hold him too tight, confine his arms in any way, or get too handsy. Sometimes, he tries to push my hands away while I am still holding him! He will hold my hand at times, but usually he is not fully cognizant of that the fact he is. For example, when he is watching Baby Einstein I slowly place my hand under his and he absent-mindedly grabs on. Love it! Take it where I can get it! I want to smother him with hugs and kisses and squeezes, but I cannot because it bothers him. I asked him the other night as he in lay in bed if I could hold his hand, and shook his head and entire body back and forth in the most intense “no” ever. Had to laugh at that one.
I have learned ways to sneak in my need for closeness and affection that do not hurt him. He likes to run at us and knock us down. When he makes contact, you can get in a squeeze so long as you don’t push it and linger. Since he likes me to hold him on my hip and craves swinging and upside input, we dance around the kitchen as I incorporate the prop and vestibular input into our dance and sneak in some cheeck to cheeck moves. His favorite song is Stuck on You by Sugarland.
The other night as I was putting him down, perhaps he was extra tired as a few days later he was sick, but he rested his head on my shoulder. This is a rarity. The feel of his precious head on my shoulder brought tears to my eyes. A couple nights later, he woke in the middle of the night with a deep cough and his breathing sounded labored a bit. I took him to the rocking chair, which we haven’t used since he was an infant. He fell asleep in my arms and my heart melted. I never want to move when he does things like this for fear I may break the spell.
I cherish moments like those and the rarity makes it all the sweeter. So many parents take it forgranted that they get to hug and kiss their child, that their children openly shower them with affection. I know I did, as Darling was and still is a cuddle bucket to the max. Lately, I keep feeling that this time in my life is some of the most precious and special I will ever have, when my kids are young. Challenges or not, this is in many ways a magical time that happens only once and goes by oh so fast. These sweet moments are what make parenting the most wonderful job in the world.