I have tried counting the number of times you ask to hold hands throughout a single day and each time I quickly lose count because it happens pretty regularly. You want to hold hands while I try to get you ready in the morning, while I fix your milk, as we drive to daycare, when you are going to sleep, any time we sit next to you on the couch and in pretty much all other situations you have asked for a hand to hold.
I can't pinpoint exactly when this started, but ever since you were a baby you have always been a snuggler. Part of this is likely due to us holding you through nearly every nap and night when you first came home from the hospital, but that's ok because we like you snuggly. :) When you were just a few weeks old, we started putting you to sleep in a bassinet next to my side of the bed and we learned very quickly that you did not like being laid down where you could not touch someone. I had trouble reaching you due to the nightstand so we decided to move the bassinet to the foot of the bed, which meant Daddy and I both had to sleep with our heads at the foot of the bed (I didn't want his feet in my face!). We did this until you were nearly seven months old so I could keep my hand next to you in the bassinet and somewhere along the way we started to hold hands each night as you fell asleep.
Every night has been the same for the last 2 years. When it is time to go to sleep you want to be right next to one of us and you immediately reach out for a hand. Now that you talk so much there is also a demand of "Hands, Mommy!" if I don't get situated fast enough and grab your hand right away. You always seem to get comfortable instantly, but I have to admit that I have fallen asleep in some of the most uncomfortable positions imaginable to continue holding onto your hand since you will immediately be wide awake if you are not fully asleep when I let go.
You will be the first to tell people that I am really mean at times and refuse to hold your hand. We have been working for a while on "patience" and "waiting until mommy's hands are free," which caused "peas hold hand" to be one of your first full sentences. That particular phrase came to exist because each time you have started to fuss or yelled "Hands!" at me in the car, grocery store or as I fix dinner, I have asked you to say, "Please hold my hand." At first you hated this and were simply angry at me for not immediately granting your request and grabbing a hand, but now you stay fairly calm (most of the time) and will say, "Please hold hand, Mommy."
I cannot put into words how much that simple phrase means to me each time you say it. I dread the day you quit wanting to hold hands, but I know one day you will decide you are too old to hold hands with your mom and, probably sooner than I'd like, you will realize you don't need me or Daddy to help you fall asleep each night. Too often I have to tell you I can't hold your hand at the moment because my hands are full or busy with another task. Just know I may not be able to hold your hand right then, but I am holding onto these moments forever in my heart.
Photo Credit: Ashley Sargent Photography