Monday, November 14th, 2011
Author’s Note: Join me every Monday as I share Fia’s ongoing milestone (mis)adventures–from potty training to talking to everything in between. Mayhem and mischief guaranteed on Milestone Monday!
I think Operation Hugs and Snugs has become a failure. Not because it didn’t work, but because it worked too well. To summarize: Fia wasn’t a huge snugger in the beginning. But through army-like training, she became one.
Now, just two weeks shy of her 2-year birthday, I find her wanting to kiss and hug every child she plays with. She doesn’t stop there though. She literally hugs them so tight that she tackles them to the floor. Now some tots seem to roll with it. Others not so much. And with this particular tot friend, Nate, she met her match. It was like watching two babies sumo wrestle.
I almost wonder if somehow I’ve encouraged this behavior, not only from smothering her myself (I can’t get enough of kissing her, and just found this article on the science of kissing), but also because of her relationship with Wayne Sanchez. We call her a barnacle baby. She latches onto him and doesn’t let go until one of us pulls her off, kicking and screaming. She’s like a magnet to living beings. A sweet leech, if there is such a thing.
An Incredibly Patient Wayne Sanchez
Not sure what to do about this. I tell her constantly to leave the cat alone; that he’s feisty. (She repeats after me, “feisty, feisty” but continues to cling, choke, and smother.) I tell her that not all babies want to be clung to like a parasite. She burrows on in. I find myself apologizing to parents for her behavior, as their child wails and clings to them for dear life. The more they hide behind an adult or run away, the more she laughs and chases. Good god, what if she becomes a serial stalker? At the age of 2? At least I bet her mug shot would be cute…
Is this a milestone or madness? I know it’s maddening for me–and from the cries, I am guessing some of her tot friends feel the same.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday | Tags: affection, barnacle, barnacle baby, hugger, hugs, kiss, kissing, milestone monday, playdate, snugs, toddlers, Wayne Sanchez
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
I posted a blog this week about how I’ve basically turned my baby into a more affectionate child. Then a friend sent me this article. It basically says that in asking our kids to perform on cue—whether it’s a hug or kiss or a word or gesture—we are in effect, pimping them out. She goes on to say, “And the currency you’re using is the single most powerful in the world: parental love and approval.”
Ouch. That’s hard to hear. But I think the author, Jennifer Lehr, might be onto something.
Here’s the whole article here. It’s short and very worth reading.
Granted, I don’t have to ask for the hugs and snugs as much now that I’ve “trained” her (cringe), but there are still plenty of times I can catch myself pushing her to “do” or “show off” something. I hate to think she might be getting her self worth from trying to please me.
So where do we draw the line at asking our children to “perform on cue?
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations | Tags: affection, affectionate baby, baby performance, eat less, eat more, perform, perform on cue, pushy, pushy mom, pushy parent
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
My daughter wasn’t a snuggler. At least not post-newborn stage after the limbs stopped flailing. At 6 months when she began to crawl, I’d hug her and she’d push away. She was far more interested mauling and smothering the cat. This puzzled me. Perhaps affection isn’t ingrained in everyone. In some, maybe it’s learned.
Thus began Operation Hugs and Snugs.
“Give mama a hug and a snug,” I’d say, picking her up and putting her entire cheek in my mouth. Phil cringed. “That sounds so stupid.” But a moment later, he’d be the one asking, “why isn’t our baby more cuddly?”
So Snugs and Hugs became my mantra.
Early on in the deployment of the Operation I noticed Fi would go up to our closest mom friend and hug her. Wtf? Granted, her boy Teddy was a huge hugger, but I’m the one who breathed life into her. Instead of getting upset about her misplaced loyalty, I decided to take this as proof my strategy was working.
I stepped it up a notch. Operation Hugs and Snugs enlisted the “Barnacle Baby.” I’d lie in child’s pose, pat my back and say, “Come barnacle on mama.” She began to scream in delight and climb on me. I’d go up on all fours and she’d sit on me as if riding a horse, giggling like mad. Then she’d lie down, her little arms wrapped around my sides, her head and warm stomach against my back. I’d inhale deeply, knowing there is nothing better (until she’d fall off head first and cry).
Categories: A Fi Grows in Brooklyn, Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Tricks and Tips | Tags: affection, baby affection, clingy, grabbing, grabs, hugger, hugs, mom-tot yoga, snuggle, snuggler, yoga