|The Laughing Mom: humorous tales of motherhood|
|Written by Susan Pfaltzgraff|
Love from a toddler
One of the most endearing moments for me was the first time Melise, my 2-year-old, told me she loved me.
I was starting to wonder when the concept of love would sink in, since we tell her we love her every other minute. It was actually one of those very dull moments in life when I was on my way to wash dishes, or something mundane like that, that I told Melise I loved her and she said, “Love you, too.”
I was so moved that I hugged her and wanted to keep hugging for an eternity. Of course, she’s a toddler, and she was already thinking about the next toy she wanted to play with!
Not too long after that I was trying to think of an activity for Melise. Walking past our craft box I spotted the pink construction paper. Of course! It’s time to make Valentine cards!
Just two months ago, we tried making Christmas cards for family. It was an interesting experience. I drew simple pictures of Christmas trees and snowmen for Melise to decorate. Trees were red and snowmen green with blue glitter everywhere! Hallmark won’t be hiring us anytime soon, but Melise loved it. Based on that, I imagined Valentine cards would be right up her alley.
Melise has already observed the influx of seasonal items in the stores and on the TV, so when I mentioned Valentine cards she immediately said, “Hearts!”
I pulled out the pink paper, heart stickers, markers and some pinking shears. I was planning on some absolutely splendid, over-the-top valentines. I cut out one big heart out and wrote “To Daddy, Love Melise” across it.
I said, “Here’s a valentine for Daddy. Will you color it?”
While I had been making the heart, Melise had started coloring her own piece of paper. She glanced at the heart and said, “No. For Melise!” I tried to explain that it was for Melise to color and then we’d give it to Daddy, but she refused to touch Daddy’s valentine. Sigh. I set it next to her, hoping she would change her mind.
Melise turned her attention to the stickers. I started to open the hearts for her, but she had her eyes on a package of “Toy Story” stickers that I should have hidden. Suddenly, Daddy’s valentine was getting a lot of attention as she decorated it with the main characters of her favorite movie. It wasn’t the valentine I had envisioned, but Melise poured a lot of happiness into it.
The heart stickers weren’t forgotten, though. Melise decided to decorate her face with them and then demanded I take a picture. I added a special touch by having her hold up Daddy’s card. In the picture, the words “To Daddy” can be clearly read on the card just below Melise’s smiling face. I think Daddy will prefer the picture of his special Valentine-girl much more than the pink construction paper.
And Mommy’s valentine? Oh, I had already received that several days earlier. Melise was admiring my wedding ring. I took it off, so she could hold it. She slid it on her little finger and started to walk away with it.
I said, “Be careful, don’t lose that! It’s a very special ring that Daddy gave Mommy because he loves her.”
She stared at the ring for a long time, thinking through what I had told her. Then she walked back to me, put it back on my finger and said, “Melise love Mommy, too.” What better valentine is there than a spontaneous show of love from your child?