Another Transformation in Progress.....

Lately, my youngest daughter, Neve, has gone through a bit of a change. She looks a bit different and she's doing more toddler-ish things like trying to dress herself, brush her own hair and of course, toddle! She was always a beautiful baby, but I must say I am enjoying this transformation -as I have with all of my children- from a sweet baby bundle to a real little person with a budding personality.

One of the sweetest bits of this transformation that our children have gone through is their bonding with their father, my awesome husband! Ben is the best Dad I have ever seen - honest. No bias! He loves our children before they are even out of me - I know this from the way he puts his head on my tummy and speaks to our unborn child. I know it from the way he holds them, talks to them and laughs with them (and sometimes at them) when they're newborn. I know it from the way he manages to play with all our children simultaneously no matter what their age. I know that he loves them because he sees them and notices them and takes an interest in them, no matter how old they are!

He is amazing with babies and I just think there's something about being held by a man who is strong yet gentle that soothes babies. However. I am the Mum. I have the milky breasts and that smell that means 'comfort'. All of our babies were fully breastfed and so it's not until they're about one year old that they actually didn't require me during the day. Our babies have always enjoyed the cuddles and attention from their Dad, but ultimately, I am generally favoured while they are babies.

Neve is no exception. She has gone through a few patches of completely rejecting Ben and only wanting me. We've noticed it with her a lot more than the older three children. I'm not sure if it's because I'm pregnant or just the age, but all of my children seem to want their Dad more just between one year old and eighteen months old. It's like a little switch goes in their head and suddenly they see their Dad as something more awesome than before!

Today, I realised that Neve is in that place. When Ben sat down beside us in church (he went in early to do music practice - he was in the worship team today), she grunted to get out of her pram and while she sat with me for a bit, she then put her little arm out towards Ben when he faced her. When he picked her up, she snuggled in and kicked her legs with excitement with a big smile on her face. She sat happily on Ben's lap for a while, then came over to my lap again. Normally, she will go to Ben if she's passed over, but will only last a while before she's back on my lap again, pulling my hair and pushing her face into mine (NOT fun when she's got a runny nose!).

Of course, as a woman, when I saw Neve cuddle into her Dad with obvious delight, I experienced two emotions at once: excited that she was finally being happy - really happy - to go to her Dad and a little wistful tug at my heart that my baby girl isn't a baby any more. Those days of her babyhood are behind her now and they will never come back. Time is rolling on and there's so much more to look forward to, but also times to be remembered and cherished.

By the time a new baby has arrived in our home, I have found with all of our children that they have somehow bonded and connected with their Dad on a deeper level than before. We have been very blessed to never have any issues with jealousy over a new baby or that I've had to be away for a few days from home whilst having the new baby and recovering from labour. I think that it may be due to the change that takes place in our young toddlers a few months before a new arrival!

I'm curious - did your children do the same thing? Was there a point that they hit where they seemed to connect with their Dad more deeply? What age did they do it?


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