Ever since Annabelle was a baby, Colin has wanted to hold her hand, saying her hands are so soft that he can’t resist them. This sounds sweet, but when Annabelle was an infant, she was very particular about what was okay and what wasn’t. In the Okay Box was Mommy holding and feeding and taking care of her. In the Not Okay Box was everything else.
Colin was only three when Annabelle was born, and he compulsively grabbed her hand. This meant that every two minutes, Annabelle screamed. Also occurring at two minute intervals was Andy or me yelling, “Colin! Stop holding your sister’s hand!” (Chalk that one up to things you never think you’ll say as a parent.)
“You could hold my hand,” I told Colin. “I’d like that.”
“No thanks,” he said. “Yours aren’t as soft.”
Once Annabelle got older, I got this little gem from her: “Baby hands are soft, Mommy, but yours are like rocks.”
These kids. Let’s see how silky their hands feel after they spend years cleaning up vomit and poop.
Colin is right that Annabelle’s hands feel like creamy lotion. I figured that as she got older, her hands would lose that baby softness, and my hands might be in the running for being noticed again. But no! Still, at age five, her hands feel like silky goodness, and still she creates a demand for the pleasure of holding them.
Sometimes, in rare, happy moments, she lets Colin hold her hand, and then Colin is over the moon, smiling at us and gesturing to their clasped hands and basking in the short-lived joy of touching that lovely smoothness. But for a girl who loves her brother more than anything, she sure does know how to withhold something valuable.
Since his hand holding moments are so rare, Colin saw his opening when I was pregnant with our third.
“Carson will have soft hands!” Colin said, “and when he is a baby, he won’t be able to tell me I can’t hold them.”
And Colin is right. While Carson spends many of his waking hours voicing strong objections to no one knows what, he is perfectly amenable to hand holding while unconscious. At last, Colin can pet a baby soft hand as much as he wants.
This means that often, while I’m holding the baby, Colin is standing two inches away, rubbing a little baby hand against his face. It sounds sweet, but every time I try to move, I’m tugging Colin along with me, and holding a baby and tugging an eight-year-old while making lunch is a bit difficult. I see now why Annabelle objects to the endless hand holding. But I pretend I’m okay with it because it is cute.
It’s not like I can offer Colin my hand as a substitute anyway. The poor guy would probably cut himself and have to be carted off to the ER.