When we woke today – we had no idea what a great day it would turn out to be.
Free day…. Got up today and showered – getting ready to meet friends for breakfast – Meena and Colleen, and her friend Linda. Anjali loves to be near Meena and she watches her very closely….Anjali is still very reserved and quiet – but loves to watch her. We had a bit of extra time, so Brad got out some blocks and built a tower for Anjali. With a stuffed animal lamb he began to knock it over (all six of them) – first with the lamb’s arms… she was amused. Although she's sitting quietly with her hands in her lap - it seems she is enjoying this pretend time. As she grinned, he continued to rebuild the block tower and get more and more silly; next lamb used his ears to knock it down, she chuckled, we did this for quite a while and she was having so much fun. Our hearts jumped with joy! I was so glad to see Brad get the first big smile from her. He’s been so patient working with her and hand feeding her – trying to bond – and she still doesn’t want him to hold her. So the fact that he stepped into her world and got this response…the very first smile response, followed up with a belly chuckle, and even a laugh – I am thrilled for him. He’s very happy too!
What is he doing?? Love those eye brows - she's thinking ---"this is NOT going to work out well"
Check out that eye to eye connection - kids LOVE cause and effect stuff.
Every great party - has good treats :)
One very funny thing about this whole knocking the blocks down routine – when Brad did it the very first time, he gently hit his head as if to say, “oh no….what happened??” – well guess who mimicked him anytime thereafter when she dropped something… little miss. Now every time she makes a mistake, drops something, spills a drink, etc…. she hits herself in the head – like, “uh – o” - nothing too hard, just kindof one of the “could have had a V-8 moments”, and it’s funny; we all laugh, including her. (She still does it now while at home…. cracks us up).
He continued playing and I grabbed iPad to take picture and she came to iPad and started touching it. I pretended to "get" her with her hand and she laughed more. I accidentally touched her belly and found her tickle spot- oh my stars she wanted to do this over and over as she laughed- we played with her baby keys and kept tickling her through the ring at her "belly spot" - she loved it. Most importantly we unlocked a silly child that explored the room with ease and continued to touch everything; she turned on the blow dryer in the bathroom, touched toilet paper and quietly jabbered a bit. She was so funny. I’m so glad to have this break through with her and Brad. He now can be in the room without her crying at his direction and can usually get within a foot or so of her without her fussing. If he puts his arms out to hold her - still no go and she fusses, but today was great progress. Later at nap time she held her lamb in her hands and she was mimicking lamb knocking down blocks with ears... and just jabbered away….it was hilarious.
She also colored today – she holds the crayon the correct way in her hand (like a pencil) and in her rules, the crayon goes right in the box when you are done. She let Brad color with her and then she pointed to the box to make sure he was putting his crayon away – we cracked up! She’s smart, she’s funny, and she’s a joy!
As a post-journal sidenote – on Sept 28, 2012 – Anjali and Brad really seemed to bond – and now he can hold her – if she’s in the mood for it – but more and more she has warmed up to Brad. Each night after work he comes home and they play in the back yard, go for stroller rides, and /or go to the park. Now she will even ride on his shoulders. And today at the apple orchard, she wanted Brad about as much as she wanted me – she walked around and came up to him and hugged his leg, she let him hold her more…..and I even got to go to the bathroom by myself!!
Daily Trip must haves:
Wooden blocks (about 6 – don’t need a lot)
Stuffed animal with floppy arms, legs, ears
Crayons and coloring books
Camera charged :)
Bonding takes time and cannot be forced or rushed
When a child is fed, and basic needs are met – they long to meet you more than half way to connect
When a child feels safe – look out for all the exploration he/she will do – allow it as they are learning all about their environment
When you unlock a child’s heart – joy will abound!
Kids LOVE cause and effect at this age