Family Affection (or an extreme lack thereof)

I love to cuddle up with my little family but when it comes to expressing physical affection, my children could not be more different. My spitfire Hadley has little interest in warm fuzzies; she is too busy conquering the world to waste her time with nonessentials such as touching her fellow humans.

The only exception is when she is puking her guts out and clings to me like a koala. Call me crazy but snuggles should not include projectiles of any kind.

Especially when that projectile is vomit.

I used to have a difficult time accepting her lack of endearment towards me until I recognized that she just expresses herself in different ways. I.e. saying “I love you” repeatedly throughout the day or generously eating all the cookies in front of me because she knows they are not on my diet.

My son Bode was exactly what this snuggle-deprived mama ordered and at 23 months old, he still freely kisses and hugs me. After a few days with Grandma when I was sick last week, we raced towards each other like a scene out of Chariots of Fire (juxtaposed against his 4-going-on-14-year-old sister who warily looked at me as if to say, “Oh yeah. YOU.”)

My solution for the vast divide between the two of them is to force “Family Snuggles.” This has become a nightly ritual as we all pile on Grandma’s Mama’s Featherbed and pin them down as they giggle their objections.

I still remember the first breakthrough I had with Hadley’s lack of physical affection. When she was 2 years old, we were bouncing around on my bed before bedtime when she stopped, plopped herself down on my pillow, put her arm out and announced, “SNUGGLE!”

Shocked, I asked, “Did you say snuggle?” She nodded and repeated herself again. I didn’t hesitate a moment longer and dove right in like an attention-starved puppy. With tail wagging.

Now, lest you think I converted her to Family Snuggles, think again. She laid there for her obligatory 10-second snuggle as if she was counting down the moments. She then plopped back up and announced we were “Alllllll twue” (in Haddie speak: I gave you what you want so can you pul-ease stop attacking me, Woman?)….

Other Posts