These days it’s impossible to be in a bad mood around our house. Moona keeps chirping that she loves us.
“Umee, I love you,” she gushes while I’m putting her shoes on.
“Uhibbuki Umeeeeeeee,” she sings to me while I’m standing at the stove cooking.
“Hibbuki!” she blurts out in the middle of a conversation with my husband.
And, “I LUB you!” as I toss a loaf of bread into the shopping cart.
Maybe she’s just found the perfect words to get my immediate attention, to put me in a good mood, and to get me to beam at her lovingly. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing or how distracted I am, those words I can’t ignore. She wields her new power with her father too, and it has the same melting effect on him.
She's not manipulating. Children aren’t purposely insidious and what appears to us as manipulation is actually much more innocent when you dig deeper. She’s found a way to draw out loving looks and attention—to access the part of us that she loves most.
And I’m thankful to her for bringing that part of me out a little more often.