Don’t Touch My Empty Spaces!

“Snuggle Time” is an important part of our evening/night-time ritual in the Miller house.
It’s that 30 minutes after supper and bath and right before restroom break/tooth-brushing/tuck in. Usually all 4 of us climb into our bed and watch a few segments of TV and talk about the upcoming day.

If we’re lucky, Raelyn will stop fidgeting or harassing her brother and mother long enough to actually lay down and relax. Sunday night in a rare evening of sleepiness and relaxation, she let out a sigh and lay her head back on my chest. In a moment of fatherly tenderness, I placed my arm around her and patted her on the chest, just below her collarbone.

Raelyn shot upright in the bed, throwing my arm off her and glowering at me in her angriest face.

“Don’t Touch My Empty Spaces!” she shouted.

Blinking first, Jenn and I met her demand with laughter. This is not a good plan if you’re a parent. Even four-year-olds realize when their the subject of someone else’s joke.

After calming her down we sought a better definition of “empty spaces” – any exposed skin on her body, excluding her forehead – and set about snuggling again.

Once she was in bed, though, we had another good laugh at her expense. Or were we laughing at ourselves for bearing such a bright and body-conscious (and aware) child?

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