I really ought to be sleeping right now, but my very nature demands that I write down these thoughts so I don’t forget.
Zachary is at a very interesting age right now. He is all at once an easy baby and a hard baby, which is probably a common thing for most parents to feel, I’d think.
He is challenging in many ways – mainly because he doesn’t want to sit still and I’m usually a pretty tired mama (but that’s really a good thing, I reassure myself, because he’s happy and he’s curious, and he likes to explore and engage himself with the world around him), but every day, Adrian and I say to each other that we are just SO lucky that he (insert some smart, intelligent characteristic here) or that he never did (insert one of many awful habits or characteristics here) like other babies we have heard about and that we are so thankful that we have such an easygoing, happy, curious, interesting, loving boy.
Since Zachary became more mobile, it has frustrated me that he no longer wanted to cuddle with me. Once he started to crawl (around six and a half months old) he became much more of an independent baby. And he is very independent, it shines through him. He loves doing things on his own, and even though sometimes he requires a little help, guidance, or encouragement, he is very proud of doing things by himself. You can see that even at just a year old.
The last time I can really remember Zachary being cuddly was when he was getting his first tooth at about 8 months old. He wasn’t walking yet, so he wasn’t completely mobile, and didn’t yet know what he was missing. So he, in his teething misery, was content to cuddle in my arms until the effects of the Tylenol that I’d given him kicked in, and he fell asleep. I still remember how I felt sitting in my glider, cuddling my poor, sad little guy with his head resting on my shoulder, which was wet from his tears. It seemed like he started walking so quickly after that, at about 11 months old, and he simply stopped being a cuddly baby at that point – there were too many other interesting things to do. Life is very fast paced when you’re a baby trying to absorb all of the interesting things in life.
So now, fast forward a few months. It’s funny, when you have a kid, time seems to pass very slowly and yet too quickly at the same time. Four months is an eternity, but at the same time, how did my child just turn 15 months? Didn’t he just turn 1 five minutes ago? But I digress. Now that Zachary has been walking for a few months now and is even running around our house, he’s able to see things from a different perspective. He’s really grown up a bit, which is funny to say because he’s still just a year old, but a lot can change in a few months.
It seems like something has kind of clicked in his brain. I’m going somewhere with this, I promise. I noticed in the past day or so, that he is saying Mama and Dada much more deliberately these days. Like today we went to the mall and I walked into Bath & Body Works for a few minutes while Adrian and Zachary stayed outside and away from all the smelly stuff. When I returned, Zachary looked at me with a pointed expression and said “Mama, Mama!” Adrian told me that he’d been calling for Mama the entire time that I had been inside the store. He knew that I had left and he missed me! He is similar with his Dada… When Adrian is working in our home office during the day, Zachary doesn’t understand why he doesn’t want to come out and play all the time. He calls for Dada so much he sounds like a broken record! He will wander in to the office excitedly saying, “Dada, Dada!” in a voice that just begs you to come and play with him. It’s very cute. Very engaging.
So that’s where I was going with that little explanation. Zachary is very much interested in engaging with those he loves right now. He doesn’t understand how important it is (maybe he does- I don’t know- kids can be very intuitive) but I love that he’s in this little stage and I hope it lasts longer than his non-cuddly stage. It makes me happy when he waves at my mom or hugs my dad all on his own after they leave from babysitting him. It melts my heart when my little boy crawls into my lap at the end of the day when he’s ready for bed and in need of a few cuddles from his Mama. It makes me so happy when I ask him to come over for a hug and a hiss and he gives me a hug and (this is so cute) puts his little head under my lips so I can kiss his forehead. Then once I give him a kiss and he pulls away, he puts his head back again, so he can have another kiss. He is just the sweetest, cutest, happiest, CUDDLIEST boy right now! Cuddly only when he wants to be though – it definitely has to be on his terms. But, I am thankful that he decides to include his tired-out Mama in those plans several times per day. I personally plan to take advantage of it as much as I possibly can, while I can! And hopefully when he’s a little older he won’t be too old to give his mom a hug right when she needs it! :)