Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hugging the Babies

In the past few months, Alyssa has gotten clingy. Like, REALLY clingy. She wants to hug us several times a day and when we’re sitting down in the evenings, she sits as close to me as possible without actually sitting ON me.

I even started calling her by the name of a relative who is a ‘hugger’ in the sense that this person latches on to someone and doesn’t let go. It’s irritating to the point that I can hardly stand to be around this person for fear she’ll hug me or put her enormous arm around me and just let it sit there on my shoulders like a giant, dead snake.

Alyssa finds it amusing in the extreme that I call her by this other person’s name and tends to hang on to hugs that much longer in the hopes of eliciting the name from my lips.

My mom recently suggested that I hug Alyssa back with as much enthusiasm as she hugs all of us. I’ve done this for over a week and while she gets why I’m doing it, and finds it hilarious, it does seem to have curbed Alyssa’s need to embrace as often as she was even two weeks ago.

One afternoon after visiting my mom, the girls and I were getting ready to go home. I’d already helped Olivia with her shoes and coat.

I grabbed Alyssa’s coat and called to her, “Come her, Sweetie. Let’s get your coat on you.”

She laughed and let me ‘help’ her put her coat on. I zipped her coat for her and put her scarf around her neck.

Olivia watched these actions with concern.

When we got the to the car, Alyssa still laughing at how I’d babied her, Olivia declared, “You know she’s not the baby, right?”

I fought a grin and said, “She’s my baby.”

Olivia blinked. “I’m your baby,” she insisted.

Alyssa laughed and we went home.

Olivia couldn’t let it go. She asked several times that night why I’d put Alyssa’s coat on her. I finally told her Lyss and I were just being silly. That answer seemed to soothe her.

Olivia is not ready or willing to give up her status as the baby of the family, especially not her big sister.

Thank goodness Olivia doesn’t seem to care that I still go on for nice long hugs with Alyssa. And those hugs have gone a long way toward giving Alyssa the connection she seems to need these days while also giving me the personal space I need after a long day of catering the needs of both of my babies.

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