Honest confession: When given the choice between running through crowded parking lots or holding my hand in public, my not-quite-two-year old would rather take his chances against a mini-van. That is, until today! For some unknown reason, today was different. Today I was not the mother with a car seat in one hand and a child in the fireman carry over the other shoulder. No, Sir! Today I was the mother with a car seat in one hand and a sleepy, smiling little boy walking calmly next to me all the way to the door. Just when I thought my son had been tranquilized and given a good-behavior microchip, he reached up and grabbed my extended hand. We walked hand in hand without any pulling or straying all the way to the car for the first time. Rather than run away when released, he walked to the door, threw his little leg up into the car, climbed into his car seat, and waited to be strapped in. I could have cried.
While this may not seem a big deal to some, my son’s idea of appropriate touching is tackling- in nearly every situation. Even as a newborn, he didn’t want to be cuddled or held closely. We have worked on hand holding for months and finally we had a breakthrough! Once we were home, he later crawled up on the couch next to me and patted my leg! I realized shortly after that he was wiping boogers on me instead of patting me gently, but oh well.
Hand holding is a great relief after an incident that happened not too long ago. It had been a while since the dreaded buzzer summoned us to the nursery during Sunday Service. Hubby was told that Firstborn had been involved in a “biting incident”. After a deep breath to prepare for a speech we heard something unexpected; “Your son was the victim.” I’m sorry, what? After recovering from the shock, the story came out. A GIRL had bitten Firstborn right on the face, next to the ear! He had a tiny red mark on his face where this young lady gave him a nibble. So in review, my son got a hickey from a girl in church. I thought it would be a little later in life that I would be called for PDA issues, but life is full of surprises.
So there we are- hand holding, booger wiping, hickeys… one thing is for sure; no matter what display Firstborn puts on, I am sure that it will be public. At least for now, I am very pleased that my darling boy held my hand in public today. I am sure it won’t be long before he wants me to drop him off a few rooms down the hall from his daycare room. Clearly I will have to threaten him with curler and robe wearing to make him grateful. To have a boy safe in the parking lots and to feel loved by my Firstborn, I will gladly risk all the plagues and germs of daycare. It’s a host home for all manner of chemical and biological warfare research in there, no matter how much Clorox is used. The need for masks and Haz-Mat suits aside, for now I have part of my ‘whole world’ in my hand.