I can sometimes gauge Diva-J’s affections based on the stickers I am given. Yes, I did say stickers. Diva-J loves stickers and now that many people have come to know this, she tends to be sent stickers (mostly from family). Well…these stickers are very BIG deals and she holds them close to herself.
At times though she will part with them and give her prized possessions to J-Mom and I and sometimes Diva-PJ as gifts.
Now, I am not saying that I have to receive these gifts to be happy or to see myself as being successful as a Dad. Yet, I find it interesting to see what type of sticker I am given. Is it small or large? Is it a Disney sticker or some no-name generic one. I have come to find there seems to be a pecking order to the stickers that she keeps and the ones she gives.
Thinking back to when I was a kid I used to collect stickers (I know-crazy…but it was the 80’s and a lot of things were crazy… especially the googly eye stickers). I would put them in photo albums and you always tried to get different ones than you had in the past. Now this collection was on top of the baseball cards and comics (which I still have to this day, not the stickers), so my collections were not all off the wall. Anyway Diva-J, instead of keeping them nice and neat, she sticks them everywhere and on everyone, to the extent that we have to really watch the clothes we wash as washed stickers on clothes do not always disintegrate, sometimes instead, they make a big mess! Even when she was younger, even when the sticker had lost its stick, we were forced to keep these “treasures” in a Ziploc and Diva-J would proceed to play with them – dumping them out, and sometimes picking them up without complaint.
I am hoping that Diva-J is learning about the value of giving through her actions. She does get praised for being thoughtful of others and being willing to share with others. This is not always easy for a 3.5 year old to grasp, but it is something that I continue to try and impart and stress to her.
I have to say that though I enjoy receiving stickers (I have a Mickey one on my shirt right now!), I would trade them all in for hugs, kisses or a simple “I love you Dad.” I know that these have to be earned, not expected, so when they are given and received, they are definitely appreciated and welcome.
So my question for all of you… What types of tokens of affection do you find your children giving you (whether tangible or not)?