Genevieve has always been a bit stingy with her affection. Ever since she was old enough to communicate, if I ask her for a hug or a kiss, roughly 9 times out of 10, she purses her lips, lowers her eyebrows, and shakes her head "no." Sometimes she even pushes my face away from her if she thinks I'm getting too close and might try to sneak in a hug or something.
I know I shouldn't take it personally; it's just who she is. But I'm not going to lie, it stings a bit, especially after having Josephine, who is just the snuggliest snuggler ever, and hugs and kisses me all day long. Even though she hurts my feelings a little by not wanting to give me any affection, I make sure not to let on. I don't want to create a situation where I'm forcing her to give affection to an adult when she clearly doesn't want to, because obviously I don't want to teach her that kind of lesson.
Genevieve is also the kind of kid who says "no" to just about everything you ask her to do. Or maybe it's just because she's almost two, who knows. The other day, I was trying to hold Genevieve down and clip her talons while she flailed and shouted "NO!" and I gave up and asked Josie if she was ready to get her nails trimmed. She sat sweetly and silently and let me clip them, and lo and behold, as soon as I was done, Genevieve inserted herself on my lap and shoved her hand into mine, frantically pointing at the fingernail clippers.
FLASHBULB MOMENT: All I have to do is ask Josephine to do something and Genevieve will want to do it immediately. I have been trying not to abuse this power. I'm saving it for moments when I really need it.
Tonight, I was getting up from the dinner table and asked Genevieve for a kiss. She said no, and I just walked away laughing, but I heard Josie say "I'll give mama a kiss!" so I ran back in to get one from her, and wouldn't you know, Genevieve planted one on me, too.
So there you go. I now know how to trick my youngest child into giving me a hug or kiss, should the occasion arise.
Parenting, am I right?