The people who tell you to enjoy your time with your kids while they’re little… are also the same ones who turn around four years later and look at you like you’re crazy for not dumping them in school the minute they can keep a diaper dry?
If I say “but we’re still having so much fun!” they look at me like I’m overlooking their own development for my own pleasure.
“But, but, but… didn’t you say to enjoy it?” I imagine saying.
“While they’re little. A bit. Only enjoy them a bit. Not too much; that’s sick.”
Oh-kee, doh-kee! I will absolutely keep that in mind.
Sorry to rant; we bumped into a relative last week in the grocery store and she acted like I was completely nutso.
I swear, it is the exact same people who get all gushy when they’re teeny babies. Frankly, I can’t stand teeny babies. What I like is small people you can hold hands with and point out the most amazing things about the world.
And yes, Elisheva and Yerachmiel still count. Elisheva held my hand at fireworks tonight. She kicked and screamed and swore she was NOT coming with us, and then had a lovely time and got to be part of our family, something she excludes herself from too often these days (okay, in part because she savours the rare feeling of having the house all to herself).
And I make a point of holidng YM’s hand whenever I can, rubbing his back, cuddling him, which has never been easy. He has never been a touchy person, but he responds lovingly when I do it first.
Touching them gets harder as they get older, but it’s an important part of making them feel loved and loveable.
Everything they see in the mirror tells them they are angular and gawky; no longer cuddly and cute. Everything they see in the media tells them they are the most reviled, untrusted, unworthy age group out there. Everybody jokes about parenting teenagers; nobody can think of a single good thing about it at the time, though I’m sure I will have many deep and wonderful insights after the fact.
Sometimes, I really believe you just have to rub their head and cuddle close even when they are stiff and awkward and their bodies don’t fit neatly against yours anymore.
Everybody needs to be touched sometimes. Everybody needs their hand held. When does attachment parenting end? I believe it never has to.