BB had his first “playdate” when he was about 4 months old. His buddy (whose head I cropped only b/c I didn’t think it fair to post pictures of someone else’s child on my blog) was about 2 months old and you can see that BB was already trying to get the kid to move his arm or something.
From there it was pretty much downhill when it came to groups of children. While other toddlers would play together (parallel of course), BB would sit in my lap or cry. When I put him in MMO two mornings a week at 15 months of age, he cried at almost every drop-off. When I returned to pick him up I’d often find him with a puffy face and sitting in the lap of one of the teachers. Some days he would never settle in and they’d call me to come and pick him up (which irked me to be honest….I kinda thought that helping a toddler adjust to being away from Mommy was part of what I was paying for).
We’ve had some teary and clingy mornings at preschool this year (he goes two mornings a week) but all in all he’s either eager to go or at least resigned to give Mommy a kiss and run off to play for a few hours. I’ve moved him to the “big kid room” at the Y and that seems to have solved the tears involved with leaving him for an hour of exercise and though we still have some issues on Sunday mornings because the nursery is in a different classroom than his weekday class, all in all he seems to have adjusted to being away from me and with other children quite nicely.
But, oh, how I wish I could be a fly on the wall. I wonder if his mornings in school go anything like our visit to the playground last night. We arrived to find the playground mostly empty. There were only two boys and their father. The boys were probably 4 and 6. The younger one was playing at a slow pace and the older one was sitting on the bench with his father. BB arrived on the scene, introduced himself, “Hi! I’m Benjamin!” and within minutes had created an all out frenzy of racing up the stairs and sliding as fast as you can. The younger brother was (for effect I’m sure) huffing and puffing – running up the stairs and shouting “I’m winning! I’m winning! He’s going to win!” The older brother after observing for a few minutes decided he wanted in on the fun. Around and around they went, up the stairs and down the slides and BB shouting “You go down that one and I’ll go down this one!” “Go! Go! Go!” “I’m winning!” “He’s going to beat me!”
No longer is he a sideline observer from Mommy’s lap, he’s turned into the ringleader (who has no concept that he’s not just as big as those big kids)!