Last week, in my post about my emotional day, I wrote the following:
“I had at least a handful of moments where I would catch eyes with my son and smile and he would beam back at me with his grin that is becoming more toothy by the day. I think there is a small part of me that fears that he doesn’t love me the way that he could or should because I didn’t exactly make the best first impression. But every time I see him smile like that, and when he nuzzles up to me, right thumb in his mouth, left hand reaching for mine, I know that he loves me, too.”
I know that I am my son’s mother and that he lived inside of me and drank my milk and that I have been his primary caregiver for the past 14 months, but the fear that I alluded to in the passage that I wrote above is a very real one. And honestly, I have had some evidence to support it. For a long time, my son preferred his dad to me. He felt more safe and secure in his father’s arms. This is not my perception, this is objective. He also had an extraordinarily close bond with my mom. We would leave her house and she would hand him to me and he would cry. That didn’t feel so great.
But lately I am noticing a change; he wants me. He comes to me for nurturing and is excited when he catches sight of my face. He doesn’t like it when I go. In fact, yesterday when I had to leave him, I kissed him goodbye and he tried so hard to hold onto me that he literally grabbed onto my face, trying to keep me closer.
I have the physical evidence of the attack; The right side of my face has several scratches. I am hardcore and I wear them with pride.
But the greatest evidence of all was proven to me last night, as I tried to get my wailing son ready for bed. He has been in a horrible mood this week. Thinking it could be residual sickness, I took him back to the doctor, and his ears are clear and chest is fine; he is just grumpy and teething horribly (all four molars at once. Yikes!) He has ranged from fussy to inconsolable. In fact, last night at dinner he threw every single thing in his proximity. He threw his food, plate and our silverware. We moved him away from the table and he threw his glasses, in anger. When he ran out of items to throw, he literally started grabbing at his own face, presumably to find something to rip off and throw in protest. It’s been tough.
Bedtime was no different. He was crying and fighting my husband and it was stressful. My husband ran out to get Tylenol to help to soothe my son’s teething pain, so I took over at the changing table, and I started to sing to him.
First, I sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
and then “You are My Sunshine”
and he stopped crying.
I then blew some raspberries on his belly and he started laughing uncontrollably. In a matter of a minute I had turned this monster into my happy, smiling baby. And that did feel so great.
The rest of our bedtime routine went smoothly, and as I rocked him in my arms, I sang one of my favorite songs; a song that that love so much that I even got my band to cover and mash it up.
I’ll make you happy baby, just wait and see,
For every kiss you give me, I’ll give you three,
Oh, since the day I saw you,
I have been waiting for you,
You know I will adore you ’til eternity,
So won’t you please?
Be my little baby,
Say you’ll be my darlin’,
Be my baby, now.
And as I sang and as we rocked, I noticed that his chest was pressed up to mine and that our hearts were beating in sync. It was almost indescribable; I felt this one, strong pulse, and it was us.
We haven’t really been an us before.
Well, I will, in fact, adore him ’til eternity
and now I know, with great confidence, that he loves me, too.