Thursday, October 30, 2008

Making Friends...and playing alone

Yesterday was a field trip with our homeschool group to a local bank and then hanging out in a room at the library for a couple hours afterwards. The bank thing didn't go over so well with my kids...perhaps because I had torn them away from archery in order to arrive on time. They decided at the bank, instead of pushing their way up to the front to see what was going on, they wanted to hang on me the whole time. I said "Who are you, and what have you done with my kids?" I don't have hang-on-me kids. But by the time we got to the library activity time, they'd warmed up to the idea that socializing with the other kids could be a worthy experience.

Now, having said that I don't have hang-on-me kids, Iggy has never been too excited about the idea of asking other kids "if he can play". Not that he hangs on me, but he generally plays by himself in a large group of people. He does not like crowds...which is apparently more than eight people. But yesterday, I saw this shift in finding one-person activities in the corner, to being conscious that other kids were playing other things, and wanting to do it too. There was some sort of color coded game of catch going on, and he wanted to do it. I said "Well, go ask them if you can play." And he did! Then he wanted to play money bingo with another group of kids who were already playing and I said "Well, go ask if you can play." And he did! And then he saw some kids playing chess and wanted to learn, so he asked them to teach him! It was kind of a big deal to me, because he was actually playing with the other kids instead of sitting in the corner by himself.

On the other hand, my social butterfly, Ooky, actually played by himself quietly at a table. Someone had brought a Spiderman Operation game and he thought that was pretty cool. But Ooky is not a kid who will sit by himself and do something alone. He needs the energy of other people to survive, I think. But yesterday, he was content for most the library time to figure this game out by himself. I even went over to him and asked him if everything was ok. He looked at me like I was nuts, and went back to his game.

Maybe it was something in the air? In any event, it was interesting to watch...and kind of nice!

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