A friend.

I took Navi to the park this week and since school is back in session, we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. She chatted with me (quite loudly), as she tends to do and I'm pretty sure she pointed out every bird, rock, swing, slide and piece of garbage in a one mile radius. After 30 minutes or so, in walked a dad with his two daughters...one was about 6 and the other, maybe 9. Navi was drawn to them instantly. "Baby?! Baby?!" she asked. I told her they were big kids and urged her to wave at them. They got close to us and she immediately stopped talking with me. Shy and cautious, my girl is. Then, she totally blew me away when she walked right over to where the 6 year old was standing and stood about 4 feet away from her and just watched her play.

She didn't say anything, she didn't try to play with her, she just watched. The girl came up to Navi and started talking to her, though I couldn't hear exactly what she was saying, and Navi turned around every few moments and gave me her shrugged shouldered, squinty eyed, clenched fist, ear to ear smile that she gives when she's reallllyyy excited about something. I gave her my wide eyed, raised eyebrowed smile, nodded in approval and silently urged her to say "hi" (we're a tad telepathic you see, silent conversations are kind of our thing). Navi stayed silent and just smiled (as I knew she would) and the girl reached out and touched her hand and then ran off to play with her sister. Navi came running back to me all excited and was all "Mama, Mama! Baybeee!" while pointing and signing the sign we use to tell Lucy to "come back". Oh, my heart just soared! And it also broke a little bit for her. She wanted to be friends.

My heart was beating a bit quicker than I'd like to admit when Navi walked over to that little girl...I just felt so nervous for her. I know I've said it before, but she's precious you see, and innocent, and quite possibly the closest thing to perfection that these starry-mama-eyes of mine have ever seen. I was so worried the girl would dismiss her, or say something rude or do anything other than treat her like the pure-hearted, sweet little spirit that she is. Obviously the girl was wonderful to Navi and what I really took away from the interaction is that my girl is maybe a tad starved for interaction with other kids. Its her and I all day long and I'm pretty positive she thinks she's an adult. Also, she's quite shy around strangers and though she is extremely verbal, she won't say a word until they are out of ear shot (example: when the clerk at the grocery store talks to her and asks her questions she straight face stares at her, occassionally smiling but never talking back and then as soon as we walk away she answers all of her questions...to me). Anyway, though it makes me a bit queazy (perhaps I'm the one needing social guidance, not her?!), I know its up to me to make sure that she gets ample time to socialize with kids her own age. I see other kids at the park and they all seem to have a sibling or friend to play with... I want her to feel confident enough to go up and play alongside them... and its my job to give her the tools to do just that. And so!

I signed her up for a toddler class today. For one hour every week, from now until December, she will join other kids her age for a semi-guided parent and child play class. She and I will be mixing and mingling with other parents/toddlers and I am sooooo very excited for her. I hopehopehope that she loves it as much as I think she will. I would love for her to gain the confidence and knowhow to go up and play with another kid in the sandbox at the park. And who knows, maybe, just maybe, she'll say "hi" to the lady behind the grocery store register too.

Heres to hoping my heart doesn't give out on me the first time some kid (inevitably) takes a toy away from her...
 ^^^ She's smiling at the birdies. I love this look of hers :)

8 comments

  1. Seriously the cutest! I know what you mean, it's so tough - you want to protect them in the best way possible without suffocating them that is. The balance is a tricky one on that I find! Navi and mama will do great at that class...toy snatching 101...all toddlers are in grained with it!

    .:Marta:.

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    1. I'm constantly working on this balance...sometimes I hit it outta the park...other times, not so much. Poor first borns, they really take the brunt of mama-hovering ;)

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  2. Love this and your sweet relationship. :) It's so different with your first (though you never want your kiddos to fet hurt). I'm sure you'll both enjoy toddler time.

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    1. Thanks, Leah :) That's what everyone keeps telling me- that these mama-firsts are so much more challenging with your first little. I can imagine the next time around I'll be a bit more at ease with these milestones since I'll know what to expect (kinda) haha

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  3. I'm sure she will LOVE the class! I haven't heard of any like that around here, but I've definitely been thinking of doing a mother's day out program a day or two a week so he can go play with kiddos his own age. It's so good for them!

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    1. I had such high hopes for that class...but it was a total bust :( Hopefully I can find something similar that will work for us... a two hour round trip for a 1-kid play glorified play date is just not what I had in mind!

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  4. Hi Tisse! I found your blog through Casey Wiegands link up! I nominated you for a Liebster Award! If you'd like to accept, you can read my blog post here:
    http://moeandmanny.blogspot.com/2013/09/liebster-award.html

    xoxo,
    Jenny

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    1. Awww! Thanks so much for thinking of me, Jenny! A few bloggers nominated me for this award a few months back... you can read my acceptance post, here.here. :)

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