My youngest son, Austynn, needs a lot of attention - he always has. He came to our home at six years of age having received little or no consistent affection in his short life. I can't begin to imagine the sadness surrounding my kiddo's early existence. By the time I was six, I was in an environment immersed in birthday parties, play dates, extended family get-togethers, cuddling with my parents, and having positive interactions with my siblings. Austynn had none of this in a normal, functional time line. We've been playing "catch-up" ever since. It must seem odd to strangers when they see my 160 pound fourteen year old - who's two inches taller than his mother - asking for "side-hugs" or kisses. Emotionally, he's 9 years old. He'll catch up when he's ready. Until then, he snuggles with me at home while I read stories to him in the afternoons.
My husband loves the attention I pay him. I do believe I've created a monster. He's sweet in that he doesn't demand anything but I've spoiled him for so long now that I feel a certain amount of pressure to keep my game on. He has an expectation that the house will always look neat when he walks through the door, things will be quiet and under control, and dinner will be cooking on the stove. Harrumph! What have I done to myself? I'm surprised he doesn't expect me to greet him every night in silk stockings and a French Maid uniform. Geesh! I only did that a couple of times. He needs to set his expectations a wee bit lower.
"Tank, you don't need to go into the bathroom with me."
"I need to go everywhere with you. Besides, I protect you from that awful smell monster in there."
"Well, I can't argue with that logic, come on in."
"Thank you, mama."