When Mario was around 1-year-old, he did not enjoy cuddling with me. He asked for his dad a lot. He refused to kiss me.
I divulged to Jon how much this bothered me and how I longed for the day that Mario would call for me, run and hug me, kiss me goodnight.
Fast forward to the age of two and a half. Mario cuddles; Mario kisses; Mario asks for me…ONLY. For everything.
He needs to get dressed – “Mommy Do It!” He needs his blanket – “Mommy Do It!” He needs his milk – “Mommy Do It!” He needs to get out of the car – “Mommy Do It!”
And, if Jon ignores his demands and picks him up out of his car seat or puts on his pants, Mario launches into an unrestrained frenzy. He arches his back like an upside down cat, he jabs his arms at any body part available, he lunges his head into your gut, and he screams and sobs “no, mommy do it” with an unfathomable sorrow.
Yes, I know this ridiculous and that Jon needs to be able to do these things for him, but it still crushes me. So what do I do? I pick him up from where Jon left him and take him back to the way life was before Jon engaged in whatever act that prompted the holy fit. It is really the only thing that calms him (or I can just give him a bar of chocolate but that will lead to another piece and another and another (he has his mom’s obsession with chocolate)).
Tonight, Jon ejected him from his car seat after we arrived home from Cincy. He immediately protested as soon as Jon got near his car seat. Jon had no choice – I had Maria who had fallen asleep in her seat. Mario screamed, he kicked, he yelled. He sobbed as Jon placed him on the couch and tried to take his coat off without getting maimed. I ran down the stairs after putting Maria to bed and he could not get any words out. Finally, between sobs, Mario blurted out “Daddy took me car seat.” I asked him if he wanted to go outside with me to the car and he shook his head “yes.” We go outside and grab my bag from the car. By the time we head inside, he has calmed down and is holding onto me like a little chimpanzee with the mama chimp.
A few minutes later, I had to run down to get his milk. I did not think he noticed me heading downstairs until I heard a frantic cry followed by “Mommy, take me. Take me, Mommy” over and over again. By the time I got back up the stairs (not even two minutes later), his face had turned cherry red and it looked as though his head had been dipped in to a bowl of onions. His tears could be seen from the bottom of the steps, and he looked at me with such misery. I scooped him up, took him down the steps, re-poured the milk, and rubbed his head. He looked into my eyes, clasped a hand on each cheek, and purred “mommy.”
There are times when it gets old – especially on weekday mornings when Maria is grumpy and wants me to help her get dressed, too. But as much as I sigh, complain, or moan about it, I secretly love it.
I am not naive. Next time I blink, he will be asking for dad, refusing to cuddle, refusing to kiss. Therefore, I must slurp it up today.