A strange little moment occurred at a baby group today. My nearly two year old girl, whose independence is often noted, came a cropper when a little boy decided he wanted the tricycle she was sitting on.
She was launched sideways and her head made a fairly decent thud on the floor as she went down. Although I normally suppress reactions and ignore any trips or falls completely, this one definitely merited a cuddle. She started crying in a manner not disproportionate to the bang her head made on the floor. Holding her tight in my arms, the sobbing slowly calmed to an uncharacteristic whine/cry. Squatting uncomfortably and wanting to shift position without breaking the embrace, I lay back gently and held her to my chest. That was how I found myself conspicuously lying on the floor in the middle of a busy playgroup in a large church hall, wondering what the other parents might have been thinking. We were there for a good 5-10 minutes.
Unaccustomed to her so willingly accepting my hugs, it was strangely pleasant to be looking up at the ceiling and feeling all her weight fall onto me so completely. Like the couple of days we spent last week when Mama and the new baby brother were in hospital. She was weakened by a cough and spent two days clinging to me, not spending more than a few moments out of my arms.
I guess the point of this little entry is that I generally try to keep my distance and give her as much space as possible. I want her to grow into a bird with the confidence to fly the nest. I employ very little soothing. I see parents bending over backwards to calm their children’s caprices. I’m sure that some people would say I employ a pretty tough form of love… and though that might be the case, I definitely know when it’s time for a cuddle.