This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website. This month’s topic is ‘Use Nurturing Touch
Bed time isn’t a quick process at the Pickle Farm.
We parent our children to sleep…. all of them, even the six year olds who don’t necessarily need us to.
For all three kids it seems bed time is the time to catch up on closeness.
As babies they were held and carried and cuddled and breastfed and kissed for most of the day (and much of the night!) and it was easy to meet their need for nurturing touch. But then they grew up and became mobile and busy and now they even go off into the big wide world without us from time to time… and the moments to cuddle and touch have become less frequent. Except at bed time.
To fall asleep Muski (who is almost three) requires someone’s arm.
He likes to hold your hand and rub, touch, feel and snuggle up to your arm. Sometimes it drives me insane. I sit there gritting my teeth as he plays with the loose skin on my elbow, and I wonder why on earth I let him do this. Then I remember his need for touch and closeness… and I remember mine. This is our reconnection time. A time when no matter how tough the day has been, no matter how many melt downs he’s had…. this is the time when none of it matters. It only matters that he is there and I am there and that we are close.
The girls (6 year old twins) don’t ‘need’ me or Daddy at all to fall asleep, but they get one of us anyway. They get a story and then they get a cuddle. Zoe loves to have her feet rubbed and Izzy likes you to ‘dance on her back’ with your fingers. We don’t spend hours doing either, they are just little things that physically reconnect us after a day busy at school or off playing.
Sometimes I am tired. Quite often these days I am tired… or uncomfortable with a baby stuck between my ribs… or just over it all and needing my own space. Sometimes I don’t want to be touched….. but almost always I let it happen anyway, and almost always I am glad of it.
As adults we don’t suddenly grow out of our need for nurturing touch, and I definitely get as good as a give from my children. A little cuddle here, some skin on skin there…. just enough to remind me at the end of each day that I love and am loved.