Where’s the love, Ri?

Every once in a while I find myself perusing the BabyCenter.com e-mails delivered to my inbox. While Ri has long since advanced beyond the weekly milestone reports, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that we’re on the right track in this race to create superior offspring. I don’t know who I’m competing against, and I really don’t care. I learned a long time ago that comparisons with friends is a huge no-no of the shake your head emphatically and cluck your tongue in reply magnitude. Yep, I still catch myself thinking “My child did that eons ago, what took ya’ll so long.” Then I admonish my silent brag and remember that each one of my “feathers” has sped through or lagged behind on some growth (and maturity) marker along the way.

The most recent article was one that teased my maternal heartstrings: “7 signs that your toddler loves you.” I mean, it’s the week of Valentine’s Day when love is all anyone is talking about. My youngest isn’t talking much yet – except of course to chant “Da-da-da” or “aye-t” (eat). She’s long forgotten “Ma,” which she used to say with ease. And she’s pretty expressive non-verbally, so she’s not really trying to use her words, whatever ones she might possess.

So I couldn’t resist peeking at this little information gem. Does Ri love me, her mama? Can a toddler really love? Does she even have a choice? [Feel free to gasp or insert “dundundun!!!!” sounds for emphasis on that last one.]

Given opportunity, Ri makes her preferred person of the moment known. One minute it is big brother, the next, it’s youngest brother (or his snack). Playtime means seeking the one with the best energy – maybe Chi, maybe one of the littles. If she’s hungry, no one satisfies quite like mom, with the built in milk jugs. And if she’s sleepy? Well, it depends on her mood – Dad, Rico, Mom, anyone who’ll cuddle and lay still.

Ri blue-babySo where is the love? The article reports the proof is in the display.

7 signs that your toddler loves you:
1. She mirrors your face.
2. She takes her opinions (and reactionary cues) from you.
3. She copies your behavior.
4. She engages with you, gives you attention.
5. She uses you as home base.
6. She turns to you for rescue.
7. She seeks comfort from you.

The verdict? Yep, she loves me. No need to pluck petals from a flower on that one. Heck, seems like she sort of loves all of us… even strangers. Miss Social Sass is forever engaging audiences and drawing in the responses.

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