When you have three kids, it is very rare that any one of them gets to spend time alone with both parents. So we work at it. Nothing big, mind you. We can't afford to get a sitter for two, so that both Mommy and Daddy can take one out for ice cream. Besides, we are a family. Like it or not, siblings are part of the deal. But, most days, each kids gets what we call a "family hug." Which, ironically, does not include the whole family.
The other day, Cate walked up to Hubband and me, raised one arm to each of us, and said, "Hugs, mommy, daddy, hugs." Family hug! Hubband scooped her up, and we all hugged, and kissed on her, and told her we loved her. "I yuv you, too, Mommy. I yuv you, too, Daddy."
"Who do you love more, Cate. Mommy, or Daddy?"
It was a joke, inappropriate for a two year old, I know. It was more for her father that her, but she did not miss a beat. She sat up a little straighter on her Daddy's arm, and smiled. Big. She looked at me, at Hubband, and back at me. Grinning the whole time. She knew it was a trick questions! Finally she said, "I yuv my boys [her brothers]." She thought that was hysterical.
I guess the joke was on me. Bad mother! Bad. Bad. Bad.
For the last five days, her boys have been out of town, and Cate has been home alone with us. At first, she was a little off balance. "Where my boys go? I miss my boys. When my boys come home?" But by the second day, she only missed her brothers when we asked her if she did. The rest of the time, she was basking in all the attention.
They'll be home this afternoon. She may close the door on them. Or, she may welcome them with a giddy squeal, and a great big family hug. I'm betting on the latter.
[The picture above is Cate, with her Nana,
and another of her "boys", her cousin Lucas.]