Pink Baby was her name, and she was my everything from age 1 to college. I took her everywhere! And, my parents had an extra one hidden in my closet just in case I lost her. She was my lovey. I fully intended on doing the same for my kiddo, stocking up a few of the same lovey just in case, but that never happened.
No lovey here.
As I write this on my phone, my almost 4-year-old has her hand up the back of my shirt so her little hot hand is on the small of my back. Why you ask? Because she wanted to sleep with our noses touching and her breathing in my face. (We fell asleep like this so many times when she was teeny tiny; I loved her baby breath.) I compromised with her tonight when she broke down in tears because I turned away from her. I said that she could have her hand on my back and she was thrilled.
I am her lovey.
Backtrack moment: my husband is at a conference in Florida and I’m solo parenting for a few days and my daughter could read my emotions so easily. “Mama, can I sleep with you in your bed?” How could I say no?? And so here we are three weeks from her being 4 and she still sleeps so close to me. Ever since she could walk she came to our room, climbed one flight of stairs in the dark, and begged to be put in the king bed with my husband and I. That was somewhere around 20 months. She’s 47 months now and still in my bed after 1:00am like clockwork.
When I brought her home from the hospital I did all the “right” steps: no blanket, no toys in the bed, and she wouldn’t take a pacifier. For a whole year it was like that. Boob and bottle only. And once those were gone, she never felt the need to connect with a toy or blanket or anything. She had me, her lovey.
I have tried what feels like millions of toys and blankets but it still comes back to me every time. She just wants to love me and hold me. She strokes my hair and touches my skin in such a loving manner. Just recently she was laying on me and looked at up at me while she snuggled my upper arm and said “This is my favorite part of your arm mama,” and nuzzled it, then kissed it. It was such a weird and sweet moment. Now she goes around telling strangers about how much she loves her favorite part of my arm.
The ups and downs.
Every so often I’m touched out and she gets so offended, but being a full-time lovey is a hard job. And telling your best friend you don’t want your face stroked can be a pool of tears waiting to happen. Being her lovey isn’t terrible. It makes me remember all the times when she was nursing or just chilling in my lap or all the skin to skin we did. It all worked. She felt all that love and doesn’t want to give it up. My mom calls it “intense love.” My girl’s favorite thing to do is squish her face up to mine cheek to cheek and hug around my neck.
So for now, I will soak up all the love and snuggles and I will be her lovey.