My 5yo first-born is quite independent; he can play on his own, or ‘read’ his books quietly in his room if he wakes up earlier than us in the mornings. Though occasionally, he can be quite whiny and demanding, especially if he’s tired.
He’s close to anybody and nobody; and he’s okay to stay overnight at either set of grandparents’ places. I thought that is his personality, that he is a little detached (much like me). Until this week.
He and Megan stayed overnight at my parents’ place on Monday as I had an early meeting to attend the next morning. When I called on Monday evening to check in on them, he went about describing what was happening, and complained about MeiMei’s naughty antics. Changing subject quickly, he surprised me by saying “MaMa, you go to my (soft) toy box and choose 1 toy to keep you company, okay.”
Then he blew my mind by ending with “MaMa, I’ll miss you.” My heart did a double somersault as I never expected him to be so sweet. That he actually missed me!
As with our routine, I would hug and kiss each kid before I leave for work in the mornings. Since Tuesday, I notice he has become slightly more affectionate. He would actually return my hug tightly and seriously (he used to be stiff as a board and look elsewhere when I hugged him).
Whenever he feels like it, he would drape his arm around my thighs and lean his head on my waist as his way of hugging a standing me. And I would remember he’s already 5yo, and no longer my shortie baby.
For 2 consecutive nights now, he would return my bedtime hug and kiss, and end off with a loud “I LOVE YOU, MAMA!” without any prompting. He has no idea those 4 words are like soothing balm to my heart and mind after a tiring day!
His affections are having a direct impact on his 3yo MeiMei’s behaviour, as she would not be outdone. Especially the leg-hugging, but she’s still my shortie baby, so she ends up hugging and plastering her face on my hip. She has not returned my hugs, kisses, and “I love you”s yet, but I hope one day, she would. Like her GorGor. I guess that’s one of the perks of parenthood. Thank you Matthew, and I look forward to more “I Love You, MaMa”, hopefully as long as I live…