Thursday, October 06, 2005

Love By Numbers

One of the really great things about babies is that they let you cuddle them. All the time. Their tiny bodies are just designed for this hands-on comfort, especially before they can sit, crawl and walk. They're warm, they're soft, and most of the time they smell great.

Not so with three-year olds, who are just too busy, thanks anyway, with toys and puzzles and rocks and bugs and balls and Buzz Lightyear and Papa's shoes and whatever else stands between me and him or can be placed there quickly to deflect any oncoming, open-armed scoops.

Which is why I cherish the rare times when Finney allows me to snuggle him like he did when he was a baby. Most often, this happens first thing in the morning, when he's groggy, bleary eyed, and his I'm-a-Big-Boy defenses are down. Yes, that's the prime time to strike.

So yesterday morning, when Finn crawled out of his toddler bed and into
my queen size bed, I wrapped my arms around his Big Boy body and inhaled deeply to savor his sweet sleep smell. Then I told him that I loved him a hundred million trillion.

When he didn't respond, I asked him if he loved me a hundred million trillion in return. As he's always a fan of hyperbole, I expected him to up my love ante and profess an even greater amount of unbridled affection for the woman who gave him life and fetches his juice daily.

"Nah," he drawled. "Ten and a half."

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