the price of love
Love can be fickle, the adage goes, though it’s probably more accurate to say that the objects of our affection are the fickle ones, and they are rarely as capricious with their feelings later in life as they are at a young age.
We fell head over heels in love with Munchkin long before he could possibly reciprocate our affection. We showered him with hugs and kisses, and longed for the day that he would do the same. That day came, though Munchkin’s ways of expressing his love for us do not always jibe with our rosy expectations. He gives hugs, but at least half the time that he runs into our outstretched arms, he ends the hug by biting, not unlike Buck in Call of the Wild.
We never thought of him as a particularly clingy child, though he did go through a brief mama phase several months ago during which he cried disconsolately every time S left the house. By and large, he has been fairly independent, and quite often he does not even come to us after spending an entire day at home with his nanny, leading S to question whether he stopped loving her just a little because she started working full-time.
Of late, however, he has entered a new clingy phase, and this one is definitively more papa-centric. For all his boundless energy — when we come home, he races around the house and spins in circles as if he were possessed — his favorite thing at the moment is to be held in our arms. If D sits down, Munchkin tries to climb in his lap, and when we are standing, he not only begs to be lifted up, but also cries if we subsequently attempt to put him down.
The problem is that he has gotten really good at tugging on our heart strings. He snuggles up to us when we hold him, smiles sweetly, and babbles or giggles contentedly. The contrast between this cute image of the perfect toddler and the sobbing, crying mess he becomes when we put him down is so stark that sometimes we can’t help ourselves. On the weekends, when S teaches yoga, D sometimes spends half the morning carrying Munchkin around in his arms while cooking breakfast and taking care of odd chores.
Although D is soaking up the sudden excess of daddy love, he won’t be too sorry when this phase also passes. At 25 pounds, Munchkin is no longer the feather-weight he once was. His current insistence on always being held borders on being too much of a good thing.