In the past few weeks, he has suddenly turned into a very touchy-feely kid; he has always been pretty affectionate, but now much of his loving attention is focused on my hair. He likes to pet it, pull it into ponytail shapes, detangle it for me (albeit painfully sometimes). When we're reading together, I'll feel someone fixing a strand...and there he'll be, small fingers entwined, looking sheepishly at me when I stop reading to see what he's up to. "I'm almost done," he'll say as he works to pull out a lock that is wrapped around and under another, or to tame a stray strand that's sticking up. When he pulls too hard, I make him stop. But if I'm not militant about his keeping hands to himself, he's back at it within a few minutes. I don't know if he's even aware he's doing it half of the time.
(He's touchy-feely with his dad, too; I've noticed lots of embracing, climbing, kissing and wrestling of late.)
A recent, memorable moment came one morning this week. My little guy stopped me in mid-play and told me to listen while he said a poem for me—one that he'd obviously learned outside our home...
(No worries, readers: this blog is almost always rated G.)
Here is what he recited to me:
Mommy and Marcus are in a tree
That's it—that was the poem. Then he stopped, partly because he didn't know what letter came next, and partly because I had burst out laughing hysterically. He was laughing too, and then he realized his own mistake and said, "H-U-G! Hug!" which made the entire event that much more hilarious and precious. We cracked up for a good minute together. I praised him for spelling the word right, then put the word into action; I hugged him and kissed his little cheek until he was chiding me: "Mom, stop!"
Sometimes he'll say, "I love you so much I want to hug you," and then when I grab him and squeeze him, he says, "Mom, not that much!" His latest trick is to tell me he loves me so much he wants to pull my arm off, or my leg, or whatever he can think of yanking on that will pain me, and then he shows me how much he loves me by doing what he said he'd do. It's ludicrous. (Of course, then it becomes increasingly annoying and I have to put a stop to it.)
But all these small exchanges are really sweet, and I want to write them down so that years from now, when I have forgotten this period of time, I can revisit my little verbal snapshots and recall the lovable bundle of boy who's sharing my home for this season.
P.S. He learned the rhyme from the PBS show "Arthur." I figured it out when we saw the rerun.