Sunday, January 01, 2006

How many people love L?

My wife popped in on my daughter L and I during her bedtime routine. I was spotting L on a handstand in the corner.
"Helping her wind down, daddy?" scoffed J.
"This is our last set, right L?"
I eased L down onto her belly and scooped her up into bed.
"Daddy, who gave me this blanket?"
"My friend, J from college."
"Why did he get it for me?"
"Because he loves you." I replied. "Lots of people love you. Would you like to count them?"
"Yes!" L replied enthusiastically.
"T and M love you. Mom and Papa love you." I continued on for a bit. I ticked off her school friends and L began to make a face.
"J doesn't love me, she loves mommy." I realized that this was true and laughed.
"OK." I replied, "Who else?"
"C loves me."
"Great. And how about your teacher, Mrs. H."
L confirmed that one.
"What about uncle E and auntie J."
"Good one." I replied. "And their girls A and P."
"What about M?" retorted L.
"Absolutely."
We continued on and on.
"How many is that?" Asked L.
"55." I replied.
"Wow. Can you please write that down so we can start from there tomorrow night?"
I smiled. "You bet, and maybe we can start the list of people that you love."
"OK." L replied.
I gave L a huge hug and went downstairs for some yoga.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Great scene, Dave! My wife and I have different styles of coaxing our two children into bed, and we're both convinced that OUR way is best. Coaxing really isn't the right word, though. We both use different variations of the same basic ritual, and as long as the outlines of the ritual are present, they fall asleep naturally and peacefully (except when they're sick when all bets are off). Anyway, I was prompted to respond to this post in particular because my son, H, and I have played the "who loves you" game many times. I think it helps him "map" his emotional/relational world to think about the web of people in his life this way. The quiet time at the end of the day is also a time when his mind is more receptive and he's happy to snuggle up in his blanket with his "friends" (stuffed animals--each in its proper place) and listen--mostly to my stories but also to little things like this. It's really a beautiful time. In fact, my love for this part of the day led me (and my wife) to want to build a little business around it, which we did. We mostly sell baby blankets and nursury bedding and supplies--all inspired by our love of that sweetest of moments--when little H or LC close their eyes and drift away....

Anyway, thanks for your writing--I found you on Dave Taylor's attachment parenting blog. Nice to run into other dads who are as passionate about their fathering as I am.

Best,
Scott
Little Giraffe blankets