Sometimes I get tired, especially being pregnant, and it's really hard to hold a 25+ lb toddler. Fortunately, the days are getting less rare when Luke wants me to hold him all day.
I'm not going to lie, I dread lifting him around sometimes when my back is aching at the end of the day and my big belly is in the way of holding him the way I'd like to, whether it's from sick/teething or just because he wants it.
He usually just wants more Mama time when he's sick or in pain from teething. He's been both lately. But a lot of the time he just wants me to pick him up, because, well, he just wants to be held.
I've heard people say that their kids are just trying to manipulate them or that they need to learn that they cannot be held. From the early days, newborns need to beheld because they were used to being inside their mother's womb and they need that close touch. That feeling of a special bond. There have even been studies that have shown the damage done to a child who isn't held at all by anyone. And there are even benefits of baby wearing in a sling or carrier. But as they grow into toddlers, those moments of being held become less and less. They become less because the toddler is exploring the new world, walking around, and trying out new things. They need that comfort of being picked up and held... a moment of reconnection with their mothers, a sense of security. I feel that if I deny my son of that, I would be denying the opportunity of reconnection to him and denying my love for him.
Of course, there are times when I can't pick up Luke immediately. Like when I'm cooking or holding something hot or in the middle of doing something I can't put down. I try to pick him up when I'm finished. Sometimes he doesn't care and just moves on, but sometimes he needs it, he yearns for that touch.
I just can't agree with people who say that their child needs to learn not to be picked up. Eventually, they don't want to be picked up any more, and that's just it. Love them while they are small.
Anyway, being pregnant I have come up with things I do instead of carrying Luke around. (sounds hypocritical right?)
I think a lot of the time, Luke wants to be lifted in the kitchen so he can see what's going on up there on those counters. So putting him on a chair to see onto the counter eases the pain of me carting him around the kitchen for an hour.
He also wants to help. So I give him things he can help with, pouring and measuring, cutting up softer things, or even stirring the pan.
When I'm folding laundry he just wants to see what exactly I'm doing. He wants to know where I'm going to put stuff away. So I give him laundry and ask him if he can help me put it away.
When I'm washing my hands, he wants to try soaping his hands up too. I offer the soap and water to him too.
Mostly, my point is that, sometimes Luke just wants to know what is going on up in my world and what it's like being tall enough to reach things. He does sometimes just need to be picked up and loved, and that's ok too. But a lot of the time, he just is asking me to get involved with our daily activities.