Max and I have this silly “I love you” exchange that we do. As verbal of a child as he is, it was a long time before he ever said “I love you” to me. The first time he said it I was so surprised and happy that he thought it was funny. So now (often) when he says “I love you” I pretend to be shocked and delighted and then I say it right back to him at which time he giggles and yells “I love you” even louder. This can go on forever (including the escalating volume), but is absolutely adorable (at least if you’re his mom;).
I have several unspoken “principles” for myself as a parent. One is to apologize to my son(s) when I know I am wrong or have overreacted even if he won’t understand. Another is to drop everything (if at all possible) and read to him when he asks and another is to answer his questions as honestly and completely as I can for his level (this could lead to interesting conversations in the future:). Also, when he asks to dance, we dance. If you know me well at all, this may be hard to envision, but we have some pretty rockin’ dance parties around here on a semi regular basis.:) They’re good for the soul. Trust me.
Saturday night we were at a wedding reception and as the dance floor opened up I asked Max if he wanted to dance with one of his aunts and he said: “No, I will dance with Mommy.” Public dancing is not my thing (shocker, I know;) so I asked if he was sure and told him we couldn’t dance like we do at home because it was too wild. He was sure. He hopped off my lap and led the way to the dance floor. I picked him up and we danced. He wrapped his arms around my neck and I kissed his cheek and he kissed mine. I whispered: “I love you” in his ear and he whispered it back. When I looked at him in mock surprise he threw back his head with a grin and yelled “I love you!”. When the 2 year old asks you to dance, you dance.
photo credit goes to my sister-in-law, Christy