IT'S ALL IN THE TIMING

IT'S ALL IN THE TIMING

From Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul

It’s All in the Timing

If you can give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be enthusiasm.

Bruce Barton

Almost anybody will tell you that the payoff for your parenting is the wraparound hug of an adoring child. What they neglect to mention, however, is the typical timing of such affection.

Children do not need hugs while you’re watching them play quietly. Children do not need hugs when you’re trying to reassure in-laws that you’re doing a great job. Children do not need hugs when you yourself would appreciate a warm embrace.

Children need hugs when you’re carrying a basket of laundry downstairs, someone pounds at the front door and the telephone rings.

“Hold me. Hold me! Hold me!

Children need hugs when you’re paying the cashier, the bagger drops half your groceries on the floor and the telephone rings.

“Hold me. Hold me! Hold me!”

Children need hugs when the pot boils over, the dog chews on your favorite shoes and the telephone rings.

“Hold me. Hold me! Hold me!”

Children need hugs when you finally have the child buckled into the car seat, someone honks for your parking spot and the telephone rings.

“Hold me. Hold me! Hold me!”

Children need hugs when the waitress is asking you a set of questions that rivals last year’s tax forms, you recognize the person you least want to see walking toward you and the telephone rings.

“Hold me. Hold me! Hold me!”

Children need hugs when the person you’re talking to just finished cataloging the numerous faults of clingy children.

“Hold me. Hold me! Hold me!”

Children need hugs when your partner finally recognizes the importance of romance.

“Hold me. Hold me! Hold me!”

Children need hugs when the front of them is covered with vomit, paint or ketchup. And speaking of ketchup, don’t even get me started on the timing of children who decide they need to kiss you . . . “Right now!”

Stephen D. Rogers

Reprinted by permission of Off the Mark. Mark Parisi. © 2004.

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