Our local library branch has a nice storytime on Wednesdays for the 18-36month set with songs, rhymes, stuffed animals, and stories. For some reason it really chokes me up to see Sam get so excited as each song begins. I become that grinning mom with tears in her eyes trying desperately not to explode with sputtering pride and quite unable to get out the words "If You're Happy and You Know It" with the rest of the group.
Last week Sam brought his stuffed bunny with him and ventured a step or two from my lap to participate in the hand motions of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (more teary eyes and overwhelming happiness in my shoes). A cute girl about his age sat down beside him and he became interested. They exchanged looks a few times and then Sam inched his stuffed bunny towards her knee. She looked at it but didn't respond at all. A few seconds later he inched it closer so that it was actually touching her leg. The girl looked at the bunny, looked at Sam, looked back at her grandmother, then forward at the story being read. Sam pushed the bunny closer so that it was slightly squished against her leg. Again the girl didn't touch it, just looked at the bunny, at Sam, back at her grandmother, then forward again. Sam tried again and pushed the bunny closer. Again the girl looked down at the bunny, at Sam, her grandmother, then back to the story ahead. I could barely contain myself with feelings of pride at his affection and generosity combined with a painful empathy that she was not receiving his advances. I leaned over and whispered to him that perhaps she didn't want the bunny. He tried again though, and soon after that the girl's grandmother suggested that they move to another open spot away from us. I was crushed, but Sam took it in stride. When the group had a period of free play, Sam kept picking up stuffed animals and offering them to other kids. My little sweetheart!
Sam is also quite enamored with the 'wadey' who leads the songs, rhymes, and stories. She is young and has pretty tatoos and bookish eyeglasses, and I think she projects a really nice balance of sweetness and fun without being cheesy. When she smiles and says "Yay!" after the kids sing each song I can see precisely why Sam likes her so much. Once a month they do a craft instead of songs and stories, so this morning we walked in and the Wadey gave us a paper cup to decorate with markers, fill with soil, plant with grass seeds, and water with a little watering can. We went through the motions, but I could tell that Sam wasn't exactly satisfied with this change in routine. To compensate, as we were leaving, I stopped to say something to the lady (must learn her name next time). Using a voice that Sam could hear, and barely able to get the words out with choking up again, I told her, "Sam was excited to see you today." She smiled, bent down, and addressed Sam's shyly bowed head, "Would you like to bring these watering cans back outside?" He grabbed the cans and practically ran to bring them outside as she had asked. I think the smiling lady was saying something like "Good helper!" but I had to turn my own gigantic smile away or else I was going to lose it in a fit of proud giggles.
This library is dangerous. It slays me every time.