Annie has been going on a lot of play dates lately. It’s been really great for her (us) to get out of the house and play with her (our) friends, especially now that’s she’s older and she “gets” playing with other kids. Her play dates used to be a lot of kids playing NEAR each other. Kids are weird.
Anyway. I’ve been working on not being a helicopter mom on these play dates, and it’s hard. It’s not that I don’t trust that the homes and back yards are child proofed, because I know they are. I just don’t trust my KID. The other day, Annie disappeared down a hallway with her little friends. I thought, “be cool, Heather. They’re fine.” The other two girls came back a few minutes later, without Annie. I went to investigate, and Annie had somehow gotten into the shower, and was stretching on her tiptoes trying to turn on the water. In a month, she’d have been tall enough to succeed. I said, “Annie! What are you doing?” And she replied, “Bath,” with a DUH MOM face. Totally untrustworthy.
I think the other reason I tend to hover around Annie is because I want to see how she plays. Does she interact well? Does she understand what the other kids are doing? Is she nice or does she throw tantrums? For the most part, she’s good. She interacts pretty well. She’s mostly around kids that are older than her, so she tends to follow more than interact, but that’s easily attributed to her age (she has my genes, she’ll be bossy soon enough). She seems to understand the basic games, like kicking and throwing balls, playing with cars, and my personal favorite, “run around the backyard screaming at the top of your lungs.” She is definitely nice – she seems to be a people pleaser and she just wants the other kids to like her.
She is terrible at sharing.
It’s totally our fault – when we’re playing at home and she wants whatever toy I’m making dance around, I just give it to her. So she’s used to getting exactly what she wants, when she wants it, which isn’t going to endear her to the preschool set. On one of my TV stories last night, a character’s daughter was terrible at sharing because her dad was also terrible at sharing. As we watched the episode, Mike said, “um, that’s you, you don’t even share your food.” Craaaaaaaaap.
So, what am I supposed to do? If Annie reaches for a toy, do I say, “no Annie, Mommy is REALLY into playing with this Mrs. Potato Head right now and it will be your turn in five minutes.” I mean, I’m NOT into Mrs. Potato Head. Not since we lost her left arm and one of her ears. Now she looks disfigured and it makes me uncomfortable. But, is that how I teach sharing? Because unless these cramps I’m having right now actually mean I am about to birth a baby all “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” style, Annie isn’t going to have a sibling to teach her how to share anytime soon.
Do NOT tell me I need to start sharing my food. Because…no.