Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No Kiss For Mama

I am not a touchy-feely kind of person. I'm not a hugger and I'm not generally a cuddler, either. I'm a "you sit on your side of the couch, I'll sit on my side" kind of a person. It's nothing personal; I think I just have some tactile defensiveness going on. My mother is worse than me--she practically jumps out of her skin whenever someone hugs her. I do feel very 'fingernails on tin roof' about being touched, and while I may not show it, it does raise my stress level. When my sensory overloads, I become defensive. Then I don't want to be touched or talked to or even looked at because I feel like I will explode.

But I am trying to be more huggy for my son. I didn't get to hold him much while he was in the NICU, but as soon as it was safe, my boy was in my arms. Because I'm not a touchy-feely type, I don't want that for my child. I don't want him to feel that I don't love him just because I'm not as huggy as other mothers. I want him to feel comfortable appropriately touching others people, either by hugging, handshakes, etc. So when I play with Zane we do a lot of hands-on activities, such as wrestling, tag, and hide. Zane likes to hang upside down, and I hold his legs up. It's good for him and good for me to get over my own hang-up.

Every night before he goes to bed, I ask Zane for a kiss. Just a quick smooch on the cheek or forehead, traditionally a way that mothers everywhere offer a blessing to keep away the bad dreams. Lately, Zane has told me "no kiss". This upsets me a bit, since I feel it's my sacred duty to keep the bad dreams away. So I try at least three times while he is awake to get him to let me kiss him goodnight.

"No kiss, Mama." My heart cracks a little, but I let my little man go off to dreamland sans kiss. But I do worry about bad dreams keeping my little boy from optimal sleep. So, after Zane is asleep, I sneak in and plant a kiss on his forehead and whisper "sweet dreams". If I could fit in that toddler bed, I would curl myself around him like a dragon, to protect and defend his dreams. Even when he is awake and far away from me.

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