04 March 2011

Little Friendships

My son is a little over three years old.  At this age his older sister had just started to care about seeing her friends and would actually talk to them briefly when she saw them. As I remember she would talk about a friend constantly at home and when I would finally arrange to get together with her friend and her friend’s mother, the two girls would completely ignore each other and play independently.

My son isn’t quite at that stage yet. He will very occasionally mention his friends and sometimes the teachers at his little school but mainly his whole world revolves around me, his dad, his sister and his cat. That’s not to say he’s not sociable. Take him to any playground and he’s a social butterfly. His favorite playmates are older girls in the 10 to 16 age range. He likes to chat them up and once he has them in the palm of his hand gets them to cuddle him and carry him around the playground, while I hang around like a bad smell in the background trying not to appear like I want them to do my work. When I say something to the girls they are always very happy to be playing with him. He also likes to play with the older boys, at least a few years older, he will follow them around and try to engage them and they are much more resistant to his charms but he usually wins in the end. He is very persistent, which can be quite a challenge as his mother.

Today my son has just been invited for the first time to a friend’s birthday party. He has been to birthday parties before but always his sister’s friends. The invite comes from a little boy in his class who is the exact child I would want my son to be friends with. This little boy is sweet and cheerful and an all-round nice guy. My son once named him as the only boy in his class who isn’t mean. I’m not sure that’s accurate for the record, there are some very sweet children in his class, but three year olds do have tempers, including my own. Unfortunately it’s scheduled for the one Saturday in the last 6 years that I am planning on spending a moms only day with a couple of friends to celebrate a birthday, and I am fully committed. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to work something out with my other half.

This morning as we ran into school, a school he spends only 4 hours a week at, he couldn’t wait to scream hello at his teachers and two of his friends but when they tried to engage him further he completely ignored them.  I guess hello is all he’s ready for at the moment. I explained to his favorite teacher, who he had just blanked completely, that he had been talking to me about him this morning and looking forward to seeing him, which is true. I guess in a way I’m pleased he isn’t as much of a people pleaser as I am, but there’s no need to be rude.

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