White Dog sat with me as I watched Taiko. For most of the week, it seemed that he had gone out of his way to go over and pester YoYoMa. Yo has been very patient and has reacted by simply changing position or getting up and moving. But the provocation seemed unnecessary and potentially a cause for confrontation.
Most times, the two boys have sort of a Laissez-faire agreement and do not intrude into each other's personal space. YoYoMa sees only shadows. Taiko is nervous and some days walks with difficulty due to his bad elbow. Both have challenged navigation abilities. So when one or the other gets too close or stumbles against the other there is a startled reaction which is often misconstrued as aggression. I felt I had spent a lot more time than usual telling Taiko to leave Yo and reassuring Yo that Tai's intrusions were not an attack.
White Dog rested her head on my shoulder. "Maybe you have it wrong, momma," she gently suggested. I raised an eyebrow. "Maybe Tai is not pestering YoYoMa. Maybe it is something else." "Like?"
"Watch him," WD directed me. "Taiko is not moving boldly or aggressively. And he stops short of actually touching his brother. I don't think he is trying to make Yo mad. He just sort of stands waiting to be noticed."
WD and I sat quietly as for the hundredth time today, Taiko slowly hobbled around the coffee table and came to a stop inches from where YoYoMa slept on the hearth. He just stood there looking at Yo. After a few seconds the sleeping Yo sensed Tai's presence and started awake with a growl; this reaction startled Taiko who whimpered and quickly limped away. I heard myself saying, "It is OK sweet ones, it is OK."
Taiko came over and buried his head in my lap and Yo resettled himself on the tile.
White Dog looked down at our Tender Heart and and sighed softly. "Momma, I think Taiko is trying to make friendship overtures to YoYoMa. He walks over there and wants to be invited to join YoYoMa in his napping space. But he doesn't know how to ask so he comes across as a lurking menace."
I thought about what WD hypothesized as I continued to stroke the ears and face of our most baggage carrying rescue. Of all the WDA, Taiko most certainly comes from a past that is filled with horror, pain and dysfunction. That he survived is a miracle. That he is making progress toward becoming social and inviting the formation of bonds is astounding.
Our fragile boy, as i considered, HAS been opening up. Starting with Puff whom he has allowed to comfort him and has sought out to lie near, to Darby whom he befriended and then lost so quickly, to Bella whose new sleeping mattress is close enough that we often wake in the morning to find Taiko with a leg or backside spread over into her space, Taiko does seem to be reaching out to his siblings.
White Dog's insight has me thinking of ways to positively put the boys together. We will go slowly so as to not push Taiko faster than he is ready to go. Tonight Yo came and sat with me as I blogged, After, I asked him to stay as I called Taiko in. With a boy on each side, heads each resting on a knee, looking at each other, I stroked ears and ran my hands down flanks. We talked and shared. It was only a brief time but as Tai got up and turned to go, I gave each a kiss on the nose. "I love you both. I Kiss you nose!" I told them; it is one of Yo's favorite reinforcements. Tai considered it for a minute, then nosed my hand...and walked from the room, smiling.