Michael has started a new routine when I go out and at bedtime. He does this with me or his father, Johnny. This is the “three cheek goodbye kiss and hug”. He initiated this in the morning with his father before Johnny would leave for work, grabbing his head and pulling it down doing the two cheeked Italian style kiss on both cheeks, then giving Johnny a big hug. His father who was delighted, added on kissing one side of his cheek with three big kisses of his own, while telling Michael to have a great day at school.
At first, this was a tradition he only did with his father in the morning and at bedtime. Johnny would tell me this when he put Michael to bed. In the last month though, the tradition has evolved, and now includes me in the evening goodnight cheek kiss/hug routine, whether I am going out to one of my writer meetings or with girlfriends, or whether I am putting him to bed. And I have added on my own thing to the routine. I do smacking kisses like his father on both cheeks, and add some raspberries for good measure. Michael loves this and laughs with delight! Of course, there are the number of times he needs to turn our heads and hug us to do these kiss/hugs (the OCD elements and control elements of his personality), but it is such a delight to see that increasingly as he gets older, he is forming those close attachments to Johnny and I, yet is finding ways to cope with us leaving, very important for dealing with his emotions.
How do you deal with going out (whenever you do), and your exceptional children’s reactions? Do they react at all, or does it bother them? I know some of you exceptional Moms out there are scared to go out as it causes too much disruption to your kids and families. But you know what? They may surprise you with finding ways to cope. Michael’s two and three cheeked kiss is one of his ways, I know. His father and I bond with him, show our love physically to him, and he learns that eventually he has to physically let us go as we do with him. It’s the only way to have a healthy relationship with anyone. So get out on your own, with friends, or with your partners. We’ve always been lucky. Michael does well with sitters. If your child doesn’t, start slow with only going out an hour and build up the time you are away. It’s necessary for both of you to have a more balanced relationship, and for you exceptional Moms, to stay on your game to be the best moms to the best kids. Until next time.