I still carry all three of our kiddos.
Gwyn is nearly 6.5, Cal is 4.5, and Franklin is almost 11 months.
And all three of them still ask (through words or grunting) to be picked up and held.
And I oblige.
At the end of the school year last year Gwyn was still running into my arms at school pick-up and liked to be carried to the car. She didn’t care that none of the other kids were carried, and neither did I. It was our thing.
A couple of times a week, Cal holds his arms up by my side and asks, “Uppie?!” just as he did when his words were limited. I like that he still uses the word “uppie”- one of the last signs indicating any sort of baby left in him. And even though he is fully capable of walking himself, and sometimes just asks for “uppie” to spare his own feet the long walk, I carry him. Because I want to. And because I can.
When Cal was about two years old I was still carrying him everywhere and was told that I should put him down more and let him walk.
I felt awkward by these suggestions as I felt I should be able to do what I would like with my son, so I continued to carry him, even in front of those people. And I will still pick my son up if he wants me to now.
And Franklin, unable to walk himself, is held quite a bit of the day. He’s gotten pretty good at grabbing the skin on the back of my legs and pulling himself to a standing position which is a clear, and painful, indicator that he’d like up.
But once those feet start moving themselves, down he will want.
The time that I have left where I am physically able to pick my children up is limited, as they get bigger every single day.
The time that I have left where they actually want me to pick them up and hold them is getting shorter, as soon they will be embarrassed.
So just about every night, our children are carried to their beds, via in our arms or on our backs. They feel secure by this and get excited to receive a piggy-back ride to bed. Thus, a significant decrease in the before-bed whining department. A win-win.
So until I physically cannot lift my children, or until they stop asking, I will pick those babies up, cradle their heads against my neck, and get a little workout in while toting them around.
And even when they are too big, or don’t want to be lifted up anymore, I hope they feel secure enough with the bond we have created to know that they will always have a spot in my arms or on my shoulder, no matter the age.