Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cuddles and Conversation

If it were up to me, I would not get out of bed until 10 a.m. on most mornings. That would be followed by a leisurely breakfast consisting of pancakes, eggs, and bacon, and some coffee, preferably a latte from Starbucks. In fact, that was pretty close to my routine on the weekends before I had children.

Now I am lucky to be in bed past 6:30 a.m. on any given day. So I am probably not the best person for Gabe to have a conversation with on the way to my MIL's in the mornings. But I am his only option since Nick hasn't quite mastered the fine are of comprehensible speech. Still, he does try and I do try my best to answer.

Many of our conversations revolve around Grandma and how she does X,Y, and Z better than Mommy. These conversations ultimately end in, "Well, I'm not Grandma." And sometimes, "Well I'm not Daddy." This may indicate where I stand on Gabe's list of favorite people. In all probability Grandpa, Nick, his six-year-old female second cousin, his aunt, and my in-law's two Chihuahuas probably rank higher - most of the time. Occasionally he wants me above everybody else, but those times are few and far between. Mostly I just hear about Grandma.

This morning he decided to complain about his car-seat (which he has been in since he outgrew his infant carrier) and how it was "scratchy" (it's actually very soft and plush, almost like an easy chair) and how it wasn't like the one in Grandma's van.

We also had a conversation about school buses. He wanted to know why the buses had a blinking light on top. I believe my answer was "those lights are to make sure people notice them even when they are not stopped to pick up children because they could stop at any time to pick up children."

We also usually have to talk about the local farm (or rather local flower-stand/Halloween extravaganza/Christmas tree merchant), as I think it stopped being just a "local farm" years ago. It is currently selling Christmas trees and has just about everything covered in Christmas lights, to include an old rusted truck and their windmill. Yesterday he asked me why the old rusted tractor didn't have lights on it. Oh and why don't the trees have lights on them? And why are the lights over the trees on?

The entire time Gabe and I are talking or attempting to talk Nick is either talking to his reflection in the mirror on the front of his seat or yelling about being in his car seat and not having anyone entertaining him. Luckily it is only a 10-15 minute drive to my MIL's, so even if he does decide to yell the whole time, we don't have long before I am at my MIL's and can get him out. I am rewarded with a nice cuddle when I do. He dislikes his car-seat with a passion and feels betrayed whenever he is put in there especially when I pick him up at the end of the day.

Nick is a very cuddly baby. I think he would happily sleep a lot more than he does if only he could sleep on me. Last night, for example, he fell asleep on the way home from my MIL's, and when I went to get him out at dinner time, he promptly buried his face in my shoulder and went back to sleep. He is also more than happy to sleep on me after nursing or with me in the bed in the morning. It's nice sometimes, as I didn't have that with Gabe.

Gabe was not a cuddly baby, it's not that he didn't like to be held, he just didn't like to be cuddled, least of all by me. He was just much too fidgety to be able to cuddle. It was hard at night because often I was his only option, since Oscar was working nights at the time, and he didn't want me, he wanted Daddy or Grandma, neither of whom were there. I am tired now with Nick, since he still doesn't sleep through the night, but with Gabe I was exhausted. Nick I can easily get to go back to sleep. I would often spend half the night trying to get Gabe to go back to sleep.

These days Gabe loves to get hugs and kisses and wants either Mommy or Daddy to sleep with him, but no cuddling. He may want to hold your hand or your arm while he's going to sleep, but he doesn't want to be cuddled. He really just wants somebody there. And there are very rare occasions when he sleeps well in our bed, so usually I try to avoid it, since nobody really sleeps well when he sleeps with us. He also likes to sit in my lap during story time, and sometimes when he's watching TV. It's nice, as I like to have him close to me.

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