Monday, March 02, 2009

Selectively Quiet, but Never Hungry

At yesterday’s Tinker Bell-themed birthday party, the little dude hung close to me and watched the action, while quietly decimating the fruit platter stationed nearby. I worry that he’s feeling shy so much, but notice that when he really wants something, there’s no hesitation. He observed the magic tricks from afar, refused face painting, and skipped the limbo line.

On the other hand, when the call went out for who needed a slice of cake, his arm shot into the air immediately. He wouldn’t stand under the piñata with the other kids, but as soon as it broke, he patted my hand, said, “Follow me!” and hustled forward to gather loot with the rest of them.

I asked him afterward what he liked best, expecting a reply to center on cake. Instead, he said the piñata was his favorite, followed by “the fairy.” He thought a trick that Tinker Bell had performed with rainbow scarves was pretty nifty and described it to his grandparents the next day. I just need to remember that Q-ster does things in his style and at his pace.

Last weekend, we met his friend J at the “Monkey Gym,” and I came prepared with knee pads, as he usually insists that I crawl with him through the tunnels, up the ladders, and down the slides in the big indoor playground. Instead, he and J bounded off together, chirping about what to do next, negotiating whether the rope bridge was sufficiently steady, and helping each other climb the taller levels.

J’s mother and I stood, watching on the observation deck, and I exclaimed, “Hey, this is what OTHER parents do!” They chat with each other while their children run off and play instead of sticking to their sides like glue.

Q-ster definitely likes playing in smaller groups more, so we’ll do playdates whenever we can, and enjoy his snuggly company in this “glue” phase before he grows up and demands his own space, privacy and car keys.


Mayberry said...

Knee pads! That's a great idea. But it's exciting that you didn't need them, too.

Anonymous said...

I so understand this. Standing on the sidelines with your kid, who's just not moving at the same pace as everyone else. And the bliss when they find a friend that they can play happily with on their own.

Damselfly said...

I waffle between following my son around and just letting him play. I think it depends on the location and how he or I are feeling that day. :)

Knee pads -- you're brilliant.

Mamacita Tina said...

If it were just Laurel, I'd be in the same boat. But she has Ian to lead her, so I get to sit and chat.

kittenpie said...

pumpkinpie used to be a fearless little thing as a young girl, but since 3 or so, she's become much more cautious. I think it has to do with being aqble to see the potential consequnces now? But once we prod her into doing something and she masters it, she is so proud, it's fun to see.