There's a tiny part of me that enjoys when my kids aren't feeling well.
What? You evil, sadistic mother!
Let me explain. For the past four-plus years, when my boys are sick, instead of wanting to play with their cars or swing in the front yard, they just want mommy. They want to curl up on a couch and let me read to them, snuggle with them and bring them crackers and juice on the couch. They lose the energy to resist parental requests, the urge to battle each other dissolves, and they even don't mind lying their heads in my lap while I stroke their hair -- in fact, I would even go as far to say they like it.
While I would prefer them to be healthy, if there is an upside to a case of a queasy stomach or lingering low-grade fever -- the bonding is hands down the silver lining. What mom doesn't love that?
Since Lucy's only been with us (four days shy of) 5 months, we haven't had too many sick days. In fact, the one time she was sick, she had only been home for a few days and I was the last person she wanted near her. But tonight, during my little hurricane's 102.8 fever and a stomach bug, she couldn't have been more engaged and cuddly -- just lying in my arms, babbling her thoughts with that big toothy grin she gets when she knows she's cute and will get anything she wants. When I would get up to help her brothers with something, she would sit up and wait for me until I could come back and hold her again. No tantrums, no climbing, no demands -- just giggles and snuggles. I could get used to this.
When you have your child from the very beginning of their life, I think it's easy to take for granted that your baby knows you'll be there, no matter what. Of course the boys feel that way, we've loved and supported them since day one. But with Lucy, you can actually feel her opening up every time her needs are met -- honestly and truly met. Each time she's comforted immediately after falling down, or smiled at when she wakes up -- realizing we'll always be right there to greet her with hugs and kisses. It's meeting her needs -- both physical and emotional -- many, many times a day, every single day for months and even years at a time, when the true bond becomes solid.
Because no matter what others may say, it doesn't happen overnight.
So when Lucy's feeling vulnerable, like when she's under the weather like tonight, I will continue to use her pain to my advantage -- enjoying the opportunity to take our relationship to the next level.
Because when that happens, we all feel good.