Monkey has always been very affectionate with me. He loves to cuddle, hug, tickle, etc. He will accept endless kisses from me to his cheeks and to the rest of his body but he can’t tolerate someone face to face with him, not even his Umma. I tried to teach him the mechanics of kissing. I showed him how to do a “kissy face” and he was able to imitate me but he was not able to put it into action no matter how many times I tried. I really didn’t have a clue how to teach him how to be affectionate in this way and really, it’s not that big of a deal, he’s affectionate in so many other ways. I taught him recently how to do “eskimo kisses.” It’s direct face to face contact, it was a HUGE step for him…and I was happy.
Last week, as we were preparing to leave the house for vacation I knelt down and asked Monkey for a kiss. I expected an eskimo kiss but he shocked me by giving me a very appropriate kiss right on the lips. I was stunned. I told Duhdee but Monkey wouldn’t repeat. Duhdee has gotten kisses in the past but they were opened mouth-I’m going to lick your chin-kisses, lol, I thought he’d like to see this new development.
Over vacation I was sitting in the kitchen with my Mom and I told her the story and decided to try again with Monkey. And he did it! He kissed me just the same way and I started to tear up. I told my mom 4 years is a LONG time to wait for a kiss and when I looked at her she was also in tears and agreed with me.
It’s such a small thing, really. A token of affection that I never even knew I needed from him until he managed to overcome all the anxiety that it must induce in him to share it with me. I’m so, so proud of my little boy and how he continues to fight through his challenges.