'Tis the Season
A Thrilling Update on My Lack of Updates

The Longest Goodbye

Ike, generally the most independent of all my small independent people, struggles with a touch of separation anxiety. It started over the summer, and quite suddenly. If Jason left for work without giving Ike a hug and a kiss goodbye, Ike would freak out, panic, wail, and run to the front window to plaster his tear-streaked face against the glass in hopes that Daddy would see him and come back inside. 

Worked every time, and eventually Jason made sure he always left time for a proper goodbye. 

Then Ike started policing everybody else's goodbyes, demanding that Jason give Noah and hug and a kiss, then Ezra, then me. Then he added a double high five to the end, one smack for each hand. Then any time anybody left the house, for work or camp or school, he'd assign an order and supervise the entire pre-exit process. He demands that everyone both give and recieve hugannakissannahighfive to and from everyone else, no exceptions. 

"YOU'RE MISSING YOUR HUGANNAKISSANNAHIGHFIVE," he'll shriek, the second he senses someone moving towards the front door. "COME BACK FOR YOUR HUGANNAKISSANNAHIGHFIVE!"

Trying to convince him that you already gave someone their hugannakissannahighfive is pointless. He will not believe you. He needs to witness it. He needs to know that you did not half-ass it. 

When school started, there were tears at the curbside dropoff the first few days. The hugannakissannahighfive required me to get out of the car and prolong our goodbye on the sidewalk, with one hugannakissannahighfive turning into two and then three and then it was usually just Ike clinging to my legs and crying.

I tried running through the sequence back at the house before we left, or right before we got in the car, but that didn't really work too well. Skipping that very last possible hugannakissannahighfive at school meant driving away while Ike's face dissolved into panicked tears and generally feeling like the world's meanest garbage monster. 

He's much better now. He'll let the school aide unbuckle his carseat and then steps forward to give me a hugannakissannahighfive while I stay buckled in the drivers' seat. Then he solemnly takes his lunchbox and gets out of the car. He certainly isn't thrilled that I'm leaving, but at least seems accepting that it's time to say goodbye and go to school. 

Last night he got sent to bed early. He was tired and cranky and misbehaving all through dinner and generally just three-year-old-ing all over the place and wearing down our collective patience. When he realized it wasn't just an empty threat and that I was actually putting him to bed early, he of course flipped out and became furiously uncooperative, but eventually I got him into pajamas and bed. He sighed deeply, resigned to his fate.

"Hug," he ordered.

I gave him a hug.

"Annakiss," he said.

I gave him a kiss.


I put my palms up and he patted each one. 

"Annasong?" he asked, hopefully.

I obliged, and even indulged him in a few more rounds of hugannakissannahighfive before saying that's enough, goodnight, go to sleep. I know your tricks, child. Your adorable, funny little tricks that I will miss someday when you move on to other tricks.

Epilogue, later that night, long after I thought he was asleep:





I find myself with so much more patience for those last quirky snuggle habits with my 3rd. I had no patience with my now 11 year old's little guy antics, and little with my middle guy, but relish in my youngest requests for just one more snuggle pleaseandthankyous.


THank you for the reminder from all you three kid parents to cherish the extra hug requests because you guys know it won't last forever. I've only got one kid and one chance to experience everything!


when my son was 3 I could never leave the house without his goodbye ritual. He would stand at the door while I was outside, look at me and say, "I go to burger King tomorrow and McDonald's tomorrow and Arby's tomorrow hahaha" and then laugh maniacally. He would this to everybody, including the random pizza guy. Now my 5 year old daughter makes me kiss her on her lips, each cheek, rub noses, touch foreheads, then say I love you. Just like Jason, I have to set aside time to make sure that we get every step in. They don't let you slide with that stuff. Sure, it's frustrating when you're running late. They don't know you're running late and they really don't care lol


Our 2 1/2 year old is just like Ike. No high fives, but hug and kiss is her major stall tactic at bedtime. Mommy hug and kiss, Daddy hug and kiss, Mommy again? OH! what about (sister) hug and kiss!

And she has the major meltdown if I don't give her a hug and kiss right before my husband takes her to day care.


Just be sure you remember all of those speshal feeeeeelings. Because one day, you are handing your 17 yr old condoms and telling him to be sure to let you know when he needs to go to the store for more. *sob*

Leigh Henry

I do not know you or your family. I do not live anywhere near you.... but I'm completely in love with your children... LOL Today Ike is my fav! so stinkin cute!!

Leigh Henry

I do not know you or your family. I do not live anywhere near you.... but I'm completely in love with your children... LOL Today Ike is my fav! so stinkin cute!!


Affection from a three year old definitely makes up for the lack from teenagers.

Also, I saw this video and thought you might get a kick out of it. Someone else adores George Washington!



My kids have somehow decided no goodbye/goodnight ritual is complete without a kiss in the eye. Hugannakissannakissintheeye! So adorably weird.

Amy in CO

OMG, the goodbye antics of my kids have developed into a ridiculous amount of kissing, high fiving, blowing kisses, etc. But I figure, soon enough, they won't even care if I'm leaving so I'm enjoying now.

Although I did tell them just this morning that things are getting crazy and we are going to have to tone down our goodbyes next week.

Tina C.

there was a book about a little animal who needed kisses from mommy to make it through school. so mommy put kisses in her pocket to take out as needed during the day. this worked for my 3 year old when he was extra anxious at school drop-off. sorry i can't remember the name of the book.


I love this.


One pretty much cannot half ass on the HUGANNAKISSANNAHIGHFIVE. I knows it well, been taught by the best. One must use all of one's ass. Ain't nothin' to it; put your whole ass into it.

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