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Snuggle Bunny

Oh goodness have we ever hit a sweet spell in baby-cum-toddlerdom. Simon has spent the last few days in a super cuddly phase, and I am eating it up.

Ever since Simon achieved mobility around the one-year mark, he’s been torn between forces compelling exploration and independence and ones urging close ties to his caregivers. I knew incipient independence would yield much less snuggle time, and that’s one of the reasons I was so upset when Simon weaned himself. I had hoped that sustained nursing might be the way to sneak in snuggles with a baby who was increasingly on the go, and I feared that weaning would bring an end to our close physical relationship.

I have to say Simon has spent the last week or so largely erasing those fears. He’s been reaching for me to hold him all the time, leaning into me when I do pick him up, happily sitting on my lap for long stretches, and following me around when I’m doing chores in the house. As much as there is nothing in the world like the way a newborn melts into you when you hold him, this new phase has some under-reported upsides.

Namely, it’s the specificity and reciprocity of his current affection. He’s not happy to be hugged by just anyone. He wants me. And his Daddy (Matt can insist on being “Papa” all he wants; Simon calls him “Daddy”). And his Grandma and Papaw. And his Bubbie. Better still, you don’t have to guess that he wants a hug-he now can let you know! And best of all, once you hold him, his eyes light up, he makes happy little noises, and he wraps his chubby arms around you and hugs back.

If there is a better feeling in the world than having your child show such love and security in your arms, I don’t know what it would be. I know that storm-clouds are on the immediate horizon and that tantrums and defiance can’t be far behind, but if Simon can just hold on to a small part of his current sweetness, I know we’ll all get through it just fine.

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