Saturday, October 11, 2008

how to help him be tough...

Peanut Butter's wails drown out all other household noise. He has fallen down...again. "What is it this time?" I ask him. "Me 'eg!" "Your leg? Do you need me to kiss it?" "Nigh! (yes)" I bend near and kiss the leg nearest me. "Mmm-mm!" He shakes his head and points to his other leg. I sigh and kiss that one. A few minutes later there's another tumble, and the deafening wails begin again. I am convinced that it's not reasonable for him to expect me to drop everything and come to his comfort every few minutes. Many times nothing really soothes him except if I were to give him maybe 10 minutes of holding and snuggling. How can I do that time and time again and still get anything done? I shake my head each time there's a new call for my comfort and sympathy. He has to learn to get up and brush himself off, I tell myself. How do I teach him to be tough?

And then I read this and realize that maybe the antidote to all the wailing is to be proactive and meet his need for touch. Peanut Butter, my little boy who spent his first year of life sleeping, being held, and wailing to be held. Maybe his thirst for touch is deeper than most's, and he finds so many reasons to need holding and comforting each day in order to help meet that need. Maybe I need to be more willing to supply it, and more generous in giving it of my own will so he doesn't have to ask for it all the time. Maybe if his heart is full, he can more easily learn to get up and brush himself off.

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