Friday, October 31, 2008

Hugs and kisses

Joris's kissing skills have evolved from him first presenting his head when asked for a kiss, to a slack-jawed touching of his face against ours, to him now pursing his lips together and saying "mmm-ma!"

After the first kiss, he used to turn our heads, so he could kiss the other cheek as well and when he'd given me a kiss he, very equitably, would turn to anyone else in the room and present them with a smooch as well.

In the past few weeks he has discovered that anything can be kissed and can give kisses. It started with his stuffed animals, who will be kissed by him, then give him kisses and then insist on being kissed by us as well, after which they may kiss each other. He has since moved on to kissing plastic toys, toy cars, the cats and, yesterday, the freshly carved pumpkin.

I'm considering it a step up from the eating phase - one time he was playing with a sheep and dog figure in the car. He started touching them together and saying "Hap! Hap!" (bite), followed by "mmmmmm". The carnivorous sheep has now switched to kissing.

Avery, the little girl we watch twice a week, has been practicing "smoochy kisses" where she will purse her lips and plant a big, wet kiss whenever you ask. She is also an expert hugger. Until recently she'd come up to Joris to give him a hug and he would just stand there kind of awkwardly or try to back up, and shrug her off.

But on Tuesday when I told Joris "Tomorrow we are going to play with Avery", he said "mmm-ma!"

"You want to kiss Avery?"

"Ja"

And sure enough, on Wednesday, as soon as he saw her he went over to give her a big kiss.

Later that day, I had put them both in Avery's crib for a few minutes because they like hanging out there and I needed to go to the bathroom without worrying about them climbing up the stairs. When I got back into the room they were exchanging hugs and kisses; first Avery would lean in and give Joris a kiss, immediately followed by a hug, which he now seemed to enjoy and even accommodate. Then, Joris would do the same to her. It was super adorable.

Besides kisses, his trucks and stuffed animals also get hugs where he'll hold them over his shoulder and pat them on the back, like burping a baby. Curious George and Oe-Oe (another monkey) were also treated to bites of his pumpkin butter sandwich this afternoon. The great part was that when I made them talk and tell him "Eat your sandwich" he actually obliged.

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