I felt sort of emotional while out and about with my son today. For one thing, I love seeing him interacting with people, especially when it's successful.
As we walked down the sidewalk, he suddenly dropped to his knees to inspect some ants, right by an older lady who was taking a breather. She was just tickled pink. I didn't want to speak English and kind of interrupt the moment, but I didn't want it to seem like I wasn't engaged, either...the usual dilemma. But I liked seeing her get a chuckle. Then he said "poka" (see ya) to her, and I told him to say "Do svidanya" instead. And he said, "she's somebody's Nina!" He thinks all women around his grandmother Nina's age have the same role in life! :)
Next, the grocery store for some carrots. David is liking a book called "Carrot Soup," and specifically asked to go to the store to buy some. How could I pass up a chance to feed him vegetables?
We usually say hi and bye to the security guards at the store. It's interesting that David chooses them in particular. I wonder if it's anything to do with the security guards usually being migrants themselves, or if D. just sees them as the hosts, like we're coming to visit them. When we were on our way out, he yelled "Do svidanya, Dyadya!" and the security guard was busy with something, so David ran all the way over to say it again and make sure the guy had heard. So funny!
I was talking to a Russian mom friend recently about this age of innocence being threatened. It's so heart-breaking to see children learning how cruel people can be. It's so hard to see them face rejection for the first time. They are still so self-centered at this age, yet at the same time so sincere.
We stopped at the playground and David went up to several children and said hello, and most didn't react. He seems to alternate between being friendly and feeling threatened, and I'm not quite sure what criteria he uses. When he is playing with a toy he often expects that other children will want to take it away, and then he will turn around and offer it to someone to play with. He tried for several minutes to share his toy plane with a younger toddler, and she just looked at him!
|(Not quite sure what he's looking at, just enjoying the moment!)|
I was feeling lonely and anti-social at the same time. A few mothers (whom I'd seen once or twice before) were yakking about a trip to the pediatrician or something. How the toddler had thrown a fit, and what to do. I didn't want to be talking about that. I was glad to have the freedom to just watch David run around. But at the same time, I wished I had the guts to randomly start talking to the other parents/grandparents. It reminded me a little of my relationships with other ex-pats. A lot of times I'm fine to avoid contact, as we can get to focusing on our common grievances too much, or gossiping. But at the same time the common ground can be a blessing and provide some much-needed fellowship.
Meanwhile, David was fascinated by a little girl a few years older, who was drumming on the guard rail with a stick. And then her mom would clap. He found a stick, ran over and started drumming, and instructed me to clap. Then he tried so hard to impress that girl! He ran after her, and she didn't want him to. She ran to her mother. I tried to explain that she didn't want to play. "But I WANT her!" Then he gave up the chase, and that piqued her interest! "Come chase me!" she called. "Boy!" And he reminded her, "I'm DAVID!" Then she invited him to see-saw with her, and once he understood he said "Yes, of course!" And off they went, and they didn't even need me! Ahhh, young love.