Do you know any babies who do not want to be held all the time? Cuddled, snuggled, toted around on Mommy’s hip.
And babies should be held all the time, especially the giggliest, wiggliest, chubbiest, smiliest ones. But there are chores to do and laundry to be put away. And there’s preschool, a quick stop at the post office, and maybe there will be time for the grocery store. Hopefully the baby will take his nap in between all that. Even if we didn’t have errands and housework, Mommy is tired. (And this baby weighs over 20 lbs.)
Thomas is the baby of the family; his days are full of affection and activity. He is surrounded by toys and choking hazards; entertainment and bickering siblings. He is the baby of the family, whose first words will surely be, “Mary, back up, give him some space!” Or, “Not so wild, David, he’s just a baby!”
Mommy can’t hold the baby because Mommy has snacks to make and messes to clean up. But while Mommy is darting around the house looking for her cup of coffee, David moves from the couch to the floor to make silly faces at the baby and I find them giggling together. Then Mary Virginia wanders over and gives him her doll and a blanket. After a few moments of play, she has trouble reining in her curiosity and affection. So I scoop up the baby and return him to my hip, safe from two-year old advances.
Because he is the baby of the family, I hold him a little less. And because he is the baby, I hold him a bit more.
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David, the oldest
Mary Virginia, the middle child