On Friday night I got a cuddle:) I was going to tell you about it at the weekend, but I ran out of time. Anyway, it was a real, snuggly cuddle and it was with my 11 year-old B.
So why am I sharing this on a blog? – because it’s rare. and it’s part of aspergers and its something that I have had to learn to live with, which has, at times, been hard.
D was out with some friends he used to work with. I knew he would be back late, so it was Friday evening at home with the children. This was fine. B has a reasonably new formula 1 Wii game that he is VERY keen on and M had a friend for tea. They played in the garden for a bit with the neighbours and came in as good as gold when called. As the evening wore on I gave B a half hour warning about turning the Wii off. Unusually he turned it off with no argument when the time came. It was lovely, he seemed so relaxed, he trotted upstairs and had a shower (without being asked/ told) and snuggled into bed. When I went in to say Good Night he asked me to lay down next to him and give him a cuddle 🙂
Many of you will think that is a very normal bed-time thing to do. Sadly I wish it were so normal in this house. I would love to be able to go into B and give him a lovely cuddle every night before bed, but usually he doesn’t want a cuddle. He will push me away or would rather play a game of hiding under the duvet whilst I try to kiss him or we play tickling games, but nothing is the same as having a lovely cuddle.
I used to cry to myself when he was a baby and a toddler because he wouldn’t let me cuddle him. I thought he didn’t love me. I would pick him up from nursery and he just wanted to talk about whatever interested him at the time. He didn’t want a cuddle. I put him to bed and he’d grab his toy, but not want a cuddle. He would climb onto our bed, but never for a cuddle. It was only to be used as an indoor trampoline. If he sat on my lap he just wriggled and squirmed he couldn’t seem to snuggle in like other children did with their parents. I believed I must be such a horrible mummy that my little boy didn’t want a cuddle. At that time we had no inkling that he might be on the autism spectrum. I had no understanding that for some children cuddles are just uncomfortable or are not seen as necessary to showing affection. I just thought I must be so rubbish that he didn’t love me.
In many ways my feelings were more confused when I had M who loved cuddles. and would come and spontaneously ask for kisses and cuddles. I had seen other children do this when B was tiny, but it was new to me. B had never done it with me. He did occasionally with my Mum, but not with me. It really upset me that one of my children didn’t want to ‘love’ me. What had I done to B? and why was M so different?
This all sounds a bit selfish, but I didn’t know then what I know now. However, although I now know that B doesn’t necessarily see that he needs to give cuddles to show his feelings and that he can do that equally by playing tickling games and hiding games at bedtime. There is nothing like a good cuddle and I have to be honest, it does still hurt sometimes when I want to give him a cuddle and I want him to cuddle me.
But, on Friday night I GOT ONE. A beautiful, warm, spontaneous cuddle. from a boy who must have had such a stressful week, but just tells me everything is ‘fine’. He snuggled, he didn’t try to wriggle away, he didn’t try to hide under the duvet, he didn’t throw his dressing gown over his head, I went in to say good night, expecting to have my hands grabbed, from which I have to escape by tickling him! but he asked me to sit on the bed and have a cuddle. I was so pleased, he put his arms around me and he just cuddled for about 5 minutes without wriggling, squirming, trying to tickle or anything. It was pure, unadulterated cuddle!
And then it was over, he turned over and said good night, but it was great and I want more! – I know I might not got more and it will only ever be on his terms, but I really wish he would be able to come and have a cuddle when he is stressed about school next year, but for now I will try to be happy and remember our Friday Night cuddle 🙂
Who else has got a little story that might seem so insignificant to others but means the world to you?