When I was just a wee lass living in the Holy Land, I had a little cuddle friend that went with me everywhere. I don't remember his name, or even if he had one, or even if he was perhaps actually a she. But I do remember IT was a bunny blanket of sorts. Or rather, I don't remember it as much as I am reminded of it . . . through pictures . . . like the one below.
My mom tells me I loved that little piece of cloth to tatters and I have no reason to doubt her considering its extensive absence from the family scene and the fact that I can't remember its short life with me. I look quite content with it, don't I?
When Buddha was a chubby little babe, much to our surprise he was anything but zen-like. You'd think with all that delicious baby fat he'd spend his days in a lethargic stupor. But he didn't. He cried. A lot. Not really when he was awake, but when we tried to teach him to fall asleep on his own. I think he cried one night, when we were desperate for a little infant-independence, for two hours straight and I finally had to walk to the mailboxes because I was so overwhelmed by it all. We tried our darndest to get him to latch on to anything other than "me." He refused binkies. He refused bottles. He didn't care one whit for any stuffed animal or silky blanket. Eventually, and much to his parents' relief, he grew out of this ultra-dependency. Annnnnd we got to start all over with Bugga. Bugga, Bugga, Bugga. Our mover and shaker. While Buddha induces contemplation and intelligent thought with his wise queries and astute observations, Bugga induces chuckles and guffaws with his comedic and innocent self-expression. As one would expect from a lean baby, he too proved to be stupor-proof and perpetually busy. And, though he did not share his brother's superior fat rolls, he was equally as anti-comfort bunny, binky, bottle, or blanket. And that has not changed, though he has found a lovey - my arms.
Bugga LOVES my arms. No, not even love-in-all-caps is an adequate expression of the feelings he has toward my arms. I have been meaning to write this post for ages because he has adored them for ages. But I felt I'd never have any success in adequately describing the relationship between Bugga and my arms. I still don't, but as you can see, I'm determined to log this phenomenon nonetheless. When I stand in front of the mirror each day and criticize my body in piecemeal as any typical woman does, my arms tend to come up even with my hips as the numero uno thing I'd love to change about my body. The short time between single life and married-with-two-kids has made rather a mess out of my once tight and fit body. My arms now boast a girth equal to that of the Grand Canyon . . . and nothing could make Bugga happier.
Bugga sleeps in our bed at night, mine and The Chief's. Every night. Go ahead, judge me. I used to think that would be the ultimate in awful, to have to attempt a good night of sleep with a child next to you, tossing about like a fish out of water. Truthfully, it was . . . in the beginning. But we all pretty much got used to each other and now, I sort of need him, too. You see, he does this heart-melting thing when I squeeze into bed every night. He flips over toward me, scoots his body closer to my side, wraps both of his arms around mine, and either rubs his hand back and forth across that behemoth girth or lightly taps his soft, little fingers against my skin as he falls back asleep. Occasionally, both at night and during the day, he'll kiss my arm and look up at me with an impish grin on his face. And one time, he even awakened from his slumber in the middle of the night, calling out, "I need your arm!" He is so flexible that he has managed to not only wrap himself around my pinky finger, but my heart, my mind, and my soul as well. I am his forever. We share something in common, Bugga and I, and in all fairness I was probably the one who passed this genetic quirk to him. We are both very tactile people. Perhaps that's why I've never sincerely attempted to put an end to his obsession with my arms. I am equally guilty of loving his silky-soft cheeks just as often and just as fiercely. I did once try, however, to experimentally coerce Bugga away from my arms by reminding him that he has soft arms, too, and he vehemently brushed them off and petulantly declared, "No! I'm throwing them away! The crocodile's gonna eat them."
Aside from our cuddly sleeping routine, Bugga has a habit of finding and claiming my arms wherever we arm, I mean are. When I am on the computer, he stands beside me with his wrist curled around my arm and his hand resting authoritatively on top. He'll stand there and streeeeetch to reach things on my desk without letting go of my arm. When I pick him up, both hands automatically go to my arms on either side. When I'm tying my shoes, brushing my teeth, talking on the phone, rowing a boat, whatever it is I'm doing, he's my little suction cup buddy. And I really do love it. And I really wouldn't trade it for any amount of independence. And I'm so grateful to have a good reason for my chubby arms, because while love may not be a strong enough term to describe Bugga's relationship with them, adoration and need will do quite well, making it that much easier to explain to people I'd be breaking my kid's heart if I thinned out.
Just kidding . . . sort of.
And that is the story of why I feel sorry for the armless people.