There is a little girl at the daycare named Samantha who is very shy. When I visit Gabe, she keeps her distance and watches me without expression on her face. Today, for the first time, she brought me toys. Later, when I was getting Gabe’s coat on him, she walked up to us at the coat racket and said “jacket”. I had never heard her speak before; nor had I ever seen her grin.
With the ice finally broken, Samantha suddenly had the confidence to goof around in front of me. She started walking back and forth between the hanging coats and the wall. The static made her hair stand up in every direction. I don’t know if it was the hair, or the way she was repeatedly hidden in coats, but suddenly Gabe was cracking up. He was laughing so hard, I had to repeatedly pick him up off of the floor. The teachers apparently don’t hear him laugh like that in class, because they were quite surprised by the sounds he was making. They compared him to a Tickle Me Elmo.
Gabe almost then got himself into trouble. He decided to start touching Samantha’s face. (This must be how he has gotten himself bit in class so often.) I told him to be gentle, and good boy, he listened! There was no pinching or pulling or fingers in eyes. Patient Samantha held still while Gabe touched her face.
And *then* the silly boy kissed her! With a big hug, right there in the coats, in front of his mama. It was the most sweet and innocent thing I’ve ever seen.
Sweet little Samantha let him. Then she ran around in the coats some more, and got more giggles from Gabe, and a second kiss.