Lately, Titus, my three year old has been trying to get my attention in a variety of ways. “Mom, look at this!” “Mom, look at what I made!” “Mom, I made this for you!” Or, he will just boink me with his head for no reason except to let me know that he is around. Sometimes, he actually head butts me pretty hard on the stomach or leg. But I know what he is trying to do. It’s his way of saying “pay attention to me.”
Sometimes, I feel that Titus gets the scraps of my time. Unlike his older brothers, who monopolize my morning schedule because I teach them, Titus preoccupies himself with open-ended play. We have some activities that we do together, but since he is just three, I don’t force him to do too much formal learning. So we don’t interact as much as I would like to. It seems that he is beginning to notice the disparity in the amount of attention I give to him versus his other siblings. And I don’t want him to ever think that he is less important.
His actions of late have gotten me thinking about how I need to connect with him emotionally, everyday. I want all of my kids to know that they are individually loved. No favorites. No one more special than the other.
So, a couple days ago, Titus and I had a morning to ourselves. I helped him paint a wooden plane we had made together with yellow, red and blue paint. We were uninterrupted while my older boys were out with Edric and my daughter was napping. He was the happiest boy. Afterwards, he paraded his plane for his brothers to see and was very proud of it. It was our wooden plane of love!
I may not be able to give this kind of time to each of my kids every single day, but I am learning that small deposits in their emotional bank accounts are just as important as big ones. I need to at least tank up on random hugs, kisses, and I love yous. Sometimes all they need is fifteen minutes of reading a book or two, a walk to the nearest 7/11, or a spontaneous, “I appreciate you so much! I am so blessed to be your mom.”