There is Always Room in the Baby Nest
When my kids were toddlers and they would get hurt or upset, I’d scoop them up and put them in the Baby Nest, which was my lap but with my knees drawn in so the babes were tucked in tightly.
This was a comforting place for them. Both of my kids were breastfed and so this was a familiar and safe place. When they wanted to be let down, I let them down. The nest was always right there.
My kids have clearly outgrown the Baby Nest. My six-year-old still sort of fits but my neigh-on 13-year-old does not.
The other morning, he got up to get ready for school but wasn’t feeling quite right. I was sitting in the big red chair, reading, when he came up and said, “I really need the Baby Nest,” thinking I would refuse since he’s is 5'3" and over a hundred pounds.
I switched my position and he sat on the arm of the chair and scooched backwards until just his head and chest were in the nest. The rest of his long lanky frame was draped over the side of the chair. I held him for a bit, brushed back his hair, gave his forehead a kiss, partly to see if he had a temperature. He didn’t.
He stayed like that for about 5 minutes or so. “Okay. I’m good.” I didn’t ask what was on his mind. He just needed The Momma.
I was warned that as my son got to his teen years that he would pull away from me. I guess I understood that he would want time with his friends and doing things outside of the family but I wasn’t so sure I wanted him to pull away. He can still have his independent life from me and yet still be a part of mine.
In a prior article I wrote, If You Want Your Kids to Talk to You About Anything, I talked about being available to my child no matter what he wanted to talk about, be it Minecraft or friends, memes or schoolwork. I listened to it all. Some of it was mind-bogglingly boring but I listened.
What I haven’t written about yet is how I taught consent and asking for physicality. I will write about that, I promise. Because I was aware of this from the start of his life, I tried to teach him that it is okay to ask for affection from me. There is no shame in needing The Momma.
He needed the comfort and the safety of the Baby Nest. He asked for it. I was able to provide. We did giggle that he was clearly way too big for the nest but I assured him that he wasn’t squishing me and that he could always ask for the nest. He’ll never be too big to ask, though he might get too big to sit on me!
We’ll just have to reconfigure the Nest.
At the end, when he wanted to get up, he needed a little oomph to get back up over the arm of the chair. I gave him some light nudges and said, “FLEDGE, you!” and off he went to the kitchen for breakfast….