She's not quite two. She started saying my name a few weeks ago, and this morning she was already talking about me in the parking lot as her mom was bringing her in. I got a wonderful hug in the hallway before she headed into her class.
They get excited when I come into the room. Sometimes I have food, but often I do not. They will cluster around my legs looking for a little love and affection. If a child is particularly shy, I make sure to say their name and show them a little bit of special attention and pretty soon they come looking for hugs too. So many hungry little hearts...
Sometimes they fight over me. Even though I have two laps (two legs to sit on) and two arms to hug with, they don't like to share me. They don't know my heart is big enough to love them all. Certain little people are especially attached. I have one newly turned one year old friend who cries whenever I leave the room. I snuggle them all, sniffle their necks and ears, and kiss their little foreheads.
It's a good job.