Tuesday, January 8, 2013


My wife and I are two very different people when it comes to being affectionate. In what is the reversal of traditional gender roles, I'm the mushy, touchy-feely one in the relationship. When I see my friends, I prefer hugs to handshakes, and I prefer to touch the people with whom I speak.

(There's no really good way to type that sentence that doesn't sound creepy. I'm not some kind of serial groper; I just like physical contact.)

The Boy takes after me, in terms of affection. Little Bear trends towards his mother. The Baby hasn't come to a conclusion yet, although I think he's trending more towards me than her in that regards. Tough to tell, so far, because he's still a baby. Babies are all over their mothers, regardless.

I've watched The Boy quite intently over a couple of years, and I see that the thumb-sucking thing is working its way out. I can't remember the last time I've seen it at school, and he doesn't do it when he's playing games or with his brothers. Pretty much, the only time he's sucking his thumb is when he's relaxing and snuggling while watching television or settling in to sleep.

When he snuggles for comfort, he'll tell me, "I want some belly!" He still loves touching his parents' and grandma's stomach while he relaxes. The skin-to-skin contact is very reassuring to him. Frequently, when he stirs from sleep, he'll reach over to me or to Mum and touch our skin to relax himself.

Isn't it funny, how things work out? If you had told me six years ago that getting groped by my 5-year old son would be relaxing and reassuring to ME, then I would have told you that you were crazy. No way would I put up with that, much less having him sleep in our bed.... and yet, here he is, in my bed most nights. It's very cute.

The Wife, on the other hand, doesn't so much like it. She would prefer - all things being equal - to have a night or two where nobody is actively touching her or trying to nurse. She'd love a night or two where she could sleep undisturbed. I can buy that: I'm sure that, at some point (college?), all three boys will spend their nights in their own beds.

Little Bear doesn't so much go in for that. He's started enjoying sleeping in our bed quite a lot, but he doesn't necessarily want to be snuggled. He just wants company.

Last night, we had dinner with friends - a former classmate of The Boy's at Rodef and his family. It was a lot of fun. I left early to go sing with my quartet, and when I got home (at 9:15), all four were asleep in our bed. It was a situation, I discovered later, where "one more show" turned into all four falling asleep. It happens. The only problem was that they had left me a spot about four inches wide. Sigh.


Johanna S said...

Adorable, except that there was no room for you! As a former and soon-to-be nursing mother, I get your wife's point. I mean sometimes it's even hard to pee without the kid trying to nurse! What drives me nuts the most is that my daughter, still, wants to go to sleep with her hand on my chest. She hasn't nursed for a year. When will it end?! Fortunately, she is giving my growing tummy more attention these days. All that being said, snuggling is truly my favorite part of the day! My daughter was just sick and the one and only good thing about her fever is how much time she spent on my lap. It's simply this fuzzy feeling! It makes you smile. It makes your day. But I'm preaching to the quire here!

5yo funny... The other day she was thinking creatively to find a way where we'd have a big enough bed so the four of us would sleep comfortably. I told her that it's hard for me to be in the middle because I get too hot. She can't be in the middle because she kicks her dad you know where! I don't think a family bed will work for us. But I can already see myself on our bed surrounded by two kids and my husband sleeping on Ari's bed to avoid getting kicked. We'll need to get creative so that the grownups get our snuggle time too. :)

Love how The Boy asks for belly time, btw!

Musical Daddy said...

I know, right? The Wife is just nuts sometimes. It's not that she doesn't want to be affectionate with the kids - it's that she'd occasionally like to visit the bathroom or take a shower without someone trying to grab her. (Although, technically, the latter activity is generally me trying to grab her...)

The king size bed is really quite good for sharing with multiple children, at least while they're still preschool age. Hopefully, by the time they're in high school and big, they'll be in their own beds.

And, getting kicked in the junk is a constant danger, because the kids are all at that perfect height... happens to me so often I'm actually kind of shocked that I was able to father #2 & #3.

Sarah said...

I am a touchy-feely girl too and have been known to hug people, whether they want to be or not. ;) I can somewhat understand your wife's annoyance because that's probably why I get annoyed when my almost-three-year old fiddles with the extra nipple if her little brother's not latched on. It's so annoying and all three of mine have done it and it's like, "stop!!" but cuddling/hugging are relaxing. :)