Our kids love to cuddle. They love to be tickled, held, kissed, and hugged a lot. This is good because we can't get enough of them either.
When Bret has been gone working a lot you see the difference in our kids. They want to be right next to him all the time. Emily and Palmer will fight to sit next to him on the couch closest to him. Sometimes one of them will sit across the top or on the arm rest just to be near him. When he is leaving to go somewhere the kids beg and plead to go with him "in daddy's truck" even it is just to the car wash or grocery store. If Bret starts to leave with out them and is not going to work the disappointment is overwhelming and impossible to stop the flood of tears shed. When he is post call and wants to sleep the kids will crawl in bed with him just to be near him. Bret is the official bedtime story reader when he is home. Sometimes he has to pry them off of him just to be able to turn the page. As the time he has been away from them seems to have been increased the need to have daddy time has increased as well.
I know this is hard for Bret. When he gets home from a 30+ hour shift he wants to crash. He wants to watch football, drink a beer, and veg. Sometimes he is so tired that I wonder if he is even conscious. Sometimes what he doesn't want is three kids climbing all over him. Or to listen to a very detailed play by play of every single minute of Emily's school day. It would be SO EASY for Bret to go to his bedroom and shut the door and crash. I am sure the desire is overwhelming as the thought of sleep is intoxicating for him. But he doesn't. Ever. No matter how rough of a night he had or how tired he is.
He may only sit on the couch and hold them and let them talk about their days. He may lay on the couch with them all piled on top of him watching a movie so he can sleep. He may lay in bed and fall asleep instantly while they lay with him. But he always always gives them the affection they act so starved for. He always asks them how their day went and what they did that day. He always picks them up and throws them in the air or tickle them until they might pee their pants. He never tells them to get off even though he really hates them crawling all over him.
Sometimes I even get a hug and kiss too :)