My daughter harbours a deep mistrust of men without beards. Something about all that extra facial hair, in her opinion, makes a man a dependable, upstanding member of society. All other males get sent through a vetting process from behind mummy or daddy’s legs and the verdict relies largely on the exchange of snacks. Poor Grandpops shaved his beard off a few years ago and sadly has to forgo a banana whenever we pay a visit.
The other day Florence and her cousin were playing and Grandpops was on his way over. To aid Florrie’s ‘warming up’ process I asked my niece, ‘What do you do when Grandpops comes over?’ ‘Give him a BIG hug!’ In her own words she explained to Florence that she loves Grandpops (She is 2 and a half). This sparked a convocation;
‘Who else loves you darling?’
‘You, Grandpops, Roro, Mummy, Daddy, Annabel, Grandma, Grandad, Auntie Nats, Auntie Jo, Auntie Suz, Florrie!
It was honestly the most beautiful little moment.
I can’t even put into words how immeasurably fundamental it is for a child to know they are loved. It’s devastating and all too easy to see the impact lack of love has on a person. Parenting little ones can be hard at times (or all the time!), but lets be sure to shower our babies with hugs and kisses, tell them you love them and tell them again! No matter how old they are. Incidentally, for the past 25 years Grandpops and I have always ended our convocations, however brief, with I love you.
After this wonderful exchange with my niece I have vowed to ask Florence this question over and over again as she learns to talk, ‘Florrie, who loves you?’ I can’t wait to teach her people’s names so she can add them to the list, maybe we will even draw their picture and stick them on the fridge. One way or another, this little girl will know she has an army of people who love her. And maybe, just maybe, as the world starts to creep in and tell her lies about herself she can remember the list and fight back.
With love to you & your littles,
-Fifi & Florence x