When I started working with this family, it wasn’t too hard to fit in. The parents were super nice and the kids were outgoing for the most part. The only thing I found was I spent less time with Luke (middle child syndrome maybe? 😉 ) causing him to sometimes play strange. The first day I had arrived, Luke had already been put down for his afternoon nap. Expecting to wake up to mommy four hours later, he was surprised to have me pick him up out of his crib. Let’s just say that didn’t go over too well.. For the next couple days he was fairly distant, which I fully understood. I knew he had to have some sort of liking for me, though, because when it came time to play, he would eagerly grab my hand and drag me to whatever it was he wanted to play with. But I still felt a little bit of distance from him. The other two boys got a little bit more attention: Nathan got one on one time while Luke and Sam were down for their naps and Sam got tons of attention through feedings and the occasional I-need-attention moments. Luke, unintentionally, was shafted since he was able to slept from the time I got there till almost super time and when he was awake, I didn’t have much time to spend just with him since there were two others that were also dependent on me. Needless to say, it took a couple of weeks for Luke to warm up to me being there when he woke up from his naps. It wasn’t until the final week that things started to change.
Luke was energetic and loved to play so once he was awake from his nap, he was rearing to go. His crying would stop immediately as opened the door to his room; he knew I’d let him out and then we would go play, usually at the park (weather permitting). One day, I went to get him from his crib after he had woken up. I lifted him out and went to set him down, but he clasped his legs around my waist and tightened his arms around my neck. This is new, I though to myself. I stood there holding him for a second before asking him if he wanted down. He nestled his head into my neck and said ‘no’. Intrigued, I stood there and we snuggled until he was ready to be put down. This happened repeatedly for a couple days and soon it became my shared moment with just Luke. We would have our five to ten minutes of snuggle time and then he was ready to go play. I liked being able to bond with him this way. Then one day he took our snuggle time to a whole new level.
As usual, I picked him up and held him for a bit. However, this time, I decided to go to the living room and sit on the couch. He started to squirm and pushed himself away from me. Saddened by his apparent rejection to our bonding time, I asked him if he wanted to snuggle. He said, “Yuuuh!” and grabbed my hand and pulled me off the couch and indicated for me to lift him up again. I picked him up and he pointed to the couch and said sternly, “No!” His tone of voice made it pretty clear that it was his way or the highway. Turns out, snuggle time could only happen if I was standing. No sleeping on the job with this one! Despite my regulations during this time, it felt rewarding. Luke had finally warmed up to me and if felt great!