My little darling has never been one to enjoy playing with other kids. She prefers to pretend they’re not there and play with her best friend instead…me. This was fine when she was younger because at that age kids generally play alone together. They don’t interact with each other much and are still dealing with how to process their new environment. This is funny in a playgroup situation because they are all playing in the same room together but oblivious to each other for all intents and purposes.
Anyway, the whole point of this post is that it seems as if my little caterpillar is about to transition into a butterfly! We are usually the ones at the park playing under a tree picking acorns or alone on the swing while all the other kids are on the jungle gym. Yesterday though, she actually stopped playing and started noticing that there were other tiny tots close by. Then she surprised me completely by wanting to talk to one of them! So, (trying to breathe deeply and not break into a happy jig) I encouraged her gently to approach one of the little girls and ask if she wanted to play. She sidled up to one of the girls in a super awkward but adorable way and offered her an acorn. That poor kid was looking the other way so she didn’t even know A was there but it was progress! She made another attempt with another child that was met with more success and before I knew it there were three kids collecting acorns with her and helping A to fill her bucket! It was a leap in social growth of epic proportions!
As if that wasn’t the highlight of my month, today was her second Playgroup class. Last week was a nightmare. She hated taking her shoes off outside the class, it was noisy when we got inside, she said goodbye to everyone and took my hand to leave ten minutes in then she played outside for almost the whole class. Just before the class ended she went back in and seemed to enjoy herself but then we had to leave early. Today was a COMPLETELY different experience. I put socks on her instead of shoes, we got there early so it was a bit quiet while she settled in, I packed a banana for her to eat before we started so she didn’t get crabby (I was prepared for almost everything) and she had so much fun!! Games were played, balls were bounced on, songs were sung, hands were painted, raisins were eaten. It was glorious. I am so proud of her.
I’m also a little sad. Our baby is growing up. Soon I won’t be her best friend anymore. There will be others who may or may not see the amazing person that she is. But that’s a worry for another day. Today I will bask in the knowledge that I will soon be a mum to a fully fledged social butterfly.