After 3 years at uni and 2 years in the lab I embark on my biggest experiment yet: motherhood.
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Hug an Ug

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Babies are wonderful to hug aren’t they? When life seems unfair or overwhelming there’s nothing quite like snuggling up with a baby. Babies ooze love, joy, acceptance and hope. Until they pee on you, vomit on you, poop on you, pull your hair, scratch your face, scream in your ear, or latch their fingers onto your neck and won’t let go.

Despite the potential pain I love to cuddle our Ug. Ug is what Alexis decided to call William when he was born and it has stuck. Corey and Alexis have a “mine” game with him, “my Uggy,” no MY Uggy”. He just feels nice. He smells nice. He’s soft. He’s warm. He makes my mind stop racing just for a little while. Corey and I have a little catchphrase, “have you hugged your Ug today?”

I love to hold William when he’s very sleepy. He snuggles in tight and breathes deeply. He usually tries to get himself a feed, which I usually don’t mind. If I’m feeding him he buries his little face in as close as he can. If I don’t feed him when he’s sleepy he sucks away at his dummy and I can see his little eyes roll around as he enters REM sleep. His hands fidget in REM sleep and he smiles as though his dreams are sweet.

I love to cuddle William while he’s in a deep sleep. He goes limp. He weighs about a hundred kilos when he’s out to the world. He can’t hold his own head up so I like to rest it on my shoulder or my chest. Sometimes he moans occasionally and sometimes he snores. He’s so snuggly. He has this whispy blonde hair that is soft and thick it’s like a mink blanket. I love it.

I also love to hug my Ug when he’s playful although being 7 months old now he doesn’t tolerate being still for long. He likes to be crawling around, climbing things, getting into mischief. Sometimes though he just wants a hug. He chats away happily and looks up at me with those big blue eyes. He strokes my face or grabs at my hair or whatever he decides he wants to play with. A favourite thing for both of us is to sit in my lap while we play with some toys or read stories.

Uggy is particularly huggable when it’s a bit chilly. He’s always affectionate but when he is cold he is extra snuggly. He is the best hot water bottle. Sometimes I get frustrated when I’m trying to do some work in the kitchen but he wants to be held. I can do a fair bit with him in one arm on my hip but I won’t use knives or go near the stove etc. It doesn’t take long to remember that babies need affection and it really is a pleasure to stop and have a cuddle, most of the time.

There’s only three people I’ve met that hug as good as William. One is Corey, although I’m very biased there obviously. Another is Nick Vujicic (external link).  The third person who hugs as well as William is his big sister.

Alexis really is the best hugger in the world. Her hugs, though, are not freely given. Her hugs you really have to work for. Well, she will half-heartedly hug just about anyone, but she won’t give the arms around your neck totally relaxed with you hug unless she really wants to. I think that makes it even more special. She knows when someone really needs it. It’s a gift and when she gives a great big bear hug it means the world.

Both my kids are very compassionate. They are also very happy souls. I am so blessed to have such wonderful children. I feel honoured to be able to loan them out to help others feel happy for a little while.  Whenever we go anywhere the little old ladies line up for cuddles with William. Others just watch from afar as he smiles at them and plays peekaboo. I think it’s great he likes to spread the joy around. Alexis was very similar at the same age. I love the innocence and playful spirit of little children. Little children remind us to smile.

I was reluctant to post this because I know a fair few people who are really hurting at the moment. Terrible things have happened to good people and for them a hug won’t fix it. Some wounds are not easy to heal. I wish there was something I could do but I can’t. All I can do is pray and stay out of the way.

For me it is hard enough to know that people are in pain. To feel for them. It affects me more than it probably should. Some might say it’s weakness, some might say it’s naivete and some might call it a gift. If it’s a gift then please show me what to do with it because I have no idea.

For now I just carry on looking after my babies the best I can and cherishing those I love. I pick up the slack at home to free up hubby so he can go and do what he needs to do. When I start to feel down about stuff and I have to let it go, it helps to get busy doing something. It helps to play blocks with my daughter. It helps to put some music on and do a crazy dance with the kids. It helps to lie on the floor going “roar” and tickling and being used as a row boat and a jungle gym. When I’m tired and I need to be still it helps to hug my Ug.

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Thank you God, for these three beautiful people. May I never take them for granted.

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