|Love? Or assault?|
India loves with her whole being. She loves out loud and very physically. Sometimes it's overwhelming but it also feels amazing to be loved so overtly and tremendously.
She gives compliments out of the blue. "Oh, Nana! I love your shirt!"
When she's happy about something she'll say, "You're the best mama/daddy/Nana ever!" (The flip side is "You're NOT THE BEST mama/daddy/Nana ever!")
She adores when I solicit her opinion. Before a Christmas party I said, "India, do you like my dress?"
And she said, "It covers your gagina. You look beautiful, Mama!"
(So like with my therapist all those years ago, the bar may not be all that high.)
I am a hugger, and so is she. After the snow she ran over and hugged the knees of a surprised neighbor and told him he'd done a great job shoveling his sidewalk.
It took me a long time to learn that not everyone likes being hugged and that I should ask first. Who doesn't like being hugged? Lots of people, turns out.
She hugs Jordan more often and more enthusiastically than he wants to be hugged.
She hugs Nick and Betty. And she hugs me most of all.
She launches herself at me and wraps her whole body around me, arms tight around my neck. "I want you!"
"You've got me!"
"I want you!"
"You've got me me forever!"
"I want you!"
We could do this endlessly. At some point I usually start singing, "You've got me! Let's call it a night. Goodnight. Don't let the frostbite bite."
I want to tell her she has no idea how much she has me, and that she really does have me, heart and soul, forever. Forever.
Sometimes she will hug me and put her face closer and closer to mine until our faces are mashed together uncomfortably. She wants me. She wants all of me.
And she doesn't want to share.
It used to be that Jordan would get into bed, put his thumb in his mouth, and go to sleep. He really only stopped doing it recently, because India gets so much attention at night.
She gets lots of cuddles because she demands them. He now wants them, too.
So we will read books, and then I will pick my son up and carry him to his bed. India follows us, and tries to create chaos. I kiss him goodnight, pry her off him, pick her up and carry her back to her room.
And then we cuddle. And then Jordan comes in, and says he needs to be cuddled. So I tell India to stay in her bed, that it is Jordan's turn and I'll be back in five minutes.
Naturally, this works not at all.
She pads down the hall wailing and then stands at the side of Jordan's bed. "Mama! I need you! I need you!"
She can't get in bed with us because they harass each other and everything goes all to hell. The carpet itches her. The bathtub...I don't know what's wrong with the bathtub. It's full of stuffed animals and awesomeness. I think the main problem is the bathtub is not the bed and she is alone and alone in a tub is not where she wants to be.
So last night I was lying in bed with Jordan, my arm around him, my back to India. Truly, it's not fair that he gets less cuddle time because she's there and demanding vociferously. But that is how it tends to shake out. And I don't know what to do about this.
She stood next to the bed wailing and I asked her to please be quiet, because otherwise Jordan couldn't fall asleep, and it was sleep time. She whispered OK.
And then she mashed her face into the side of mine, and quietly droned into my cheek, "Ahhwaatyou. Ahhwaatyou. Ahhwaatyou."