Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hug Ambush!

When i first started hanging out with The Professor's extended family, i was taken off guard by how huggy they are. My family is not very physically affectionate, so i wasn't used to so much hugging. Especially when the whole clan converges in Zion, the last human city. There's exponentially more hugging then.

Even just on a day-to-day basis, this is the hugging pattern of a trip to The Professor's dad's house:

  • Hug each person present as soon as you arrive.
  • When someone leaves, they hug each person present. Let's say that they are just running out to Pizza Hut to pick up dinner and will be back in 10 minutes. Hugging is still required.
  • Hug each person present when you are going to bed.
  • Hug each person present when you wake up in the morning.
A weekend stay with The Professor's family usually provides a net quota of hugs that exceeds the amount of hugging most people get in several months. Now that i've gotten used to this way of life, i love it and think it's great! Bring on the hugs!

The BabyGirl, true to her heritage, is quite a hugger. She hugs early and often. And during this turbulent time in her life of having a new baby, her hugging needs have increased.

Today was The Professor's first official full day back at work since BG2 was born. He's had a few unofficial half-days, but today was the real deal. I was terrified, truth be told. BG2 is a very difficult baby and the BabyGirl has been a nutcase recently, so they are each quite a handful on their own. Fortunately, a friend called in the morning to say that she was going to come over and bring us lunch!

This friend was accompanied by B, her 3-year-old daughter, so the BabyGirl and i were both thrilled to have a playmate. Neither one of us have had much social interaction the past few weeks and we were kind of people-starved.

When our friends arrived, the BabyGirl and B ran off to the living room to play while Sarah and i sat in the kitchen. We were chatting away when the BabyGirl and B came back into the kitchen. B was preoccupied with a toy she was holding as the BabyGirl was attempting to give her a hug. It's fairly awkward to hug someone who doesn't know that they are being hugged. The BabyGirl would get right up in B's personal space, and at the moment that she reached her arms out, B would back away. The BabyGirl, undeterred by B's resistance, started over. This process repeated several times until both girls were somewhat frustrated, the BabyGirl because her hug was being thwarted and B because she didn't want to hug.

As soon as I noticed that the BabyGirl was unsuccessfully trying to force a hug on B, i instructed the BabyGirl to first request B's permission to hug. She eagerly asked, "Wanna hug???" and B ever so slightly shook her head no. It was almost imperceptible. The BabyGirl asked again and B did the same thing. Her refusal was not emphatic enough to have much of an impact on the BabyGirl, so she continued her attempts. I had to tell her to leave the poor girl alone, she does not want to be hugged right now.

They went back into the living room, where the BabyGirl hung back a little and waited for B to resume playing. Then she came at B from behind and gave her a Surprise Hug Attack! Haha, gotcha! During the course of their playing, the BabyGirl sneaked in a few more of these ambush hugs.

It was funny in that each girl received an admonition from their mother. Sarah told B, "Just let her hug you!" and i told the BabyGirl, "Stop hugging her against her will!" I think they both listened to the opposite mother.

After a while Sarah and B took their leave. As soon as they were out the door i heard B say to Sarah, "That was fun!" Sarah, surprised, asked, "Did you like it when the BabyGirl hugged you?" B smiled and nodded.

The BabyGirl is slowly winning people over to the ways of hugging, just like i was won over by The Professor's family!

1 comment:

  1. oh my goodness, I absolutely love this story! Such a reflection of time with sweet girls and their affinity for affection! Adorable.