“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…..”
I sing the song to her while she softly rocks back and forth in the chair.
She doesn’t speak, but often expresses herself by pulling her hair, and screaming.
This is how she wakes up.
I don’t know her history, why she’s come to live here, or if she has any family, but I do know that if I sing to her while I’m trying to get her to do whatever it is I need her to do, she stops pulling her hair, and she doesn’t scream.
I’m singing, and putting her socks on when the door pops open and another employee stands there.
“Sometimes you just have to get hateful with them to get them to do what you want”
“And sometimes you don’t” I reply to her, with the overwhelming urge to smack her in her self righteous face.
“I don’t know why you don’t just tell her to sit her ass down and do what you want”
“Because singing to her doesn’t stress her out. We’re fine here, you can go”
She knows she’s pissed me off, and she shuts the door.
Kayla has gone back to trying to get up, pulling her hair, and her moaning has increased and gotten louder.
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are gray…..”
I sing the song over and over again.
She has quit fighting with me to sit down, quit pulling her hair, and is softly rocking back and forth as I start putting on her shoes.
Then I hear it.
She’s humming with me.
“You’ll never know just, how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away…”
I stop for a moment, and she stops humming.
“You are my sunshine…”
I hear her start humming again.
It’s not the exact tune I’m singing, but she’s trying to hum with me.
She’s barely rocking now, and both hands have quit moving.
No hair pulling, no moaning, no screaming.
Just the soft humming of a non verbal child trying to make a connection with the music.
I get her other shoe on and tied, and I smile at her.
“We’re done Kayla, are you ready for breakfast?”
She smiles. Something I’ve never seen her do.
She starts to softly hum again.
We’ve had a “non verbal” conversation.
My heart is happy.
It’s the best conversation I’ve had all night 🙂