Monday, June 15, 2009

She's a little dear

Puns. Dontchya luv 'em.

Even though I'm blogging during a thunderstorm and some crazy hail, I have been enjoying some fabulous summer days. Each day I have to weigh up the relative merits of cycle rides, parks, swings, painting, beach and paddling pool.

Painting is very low on my list of desirable activities but extremely high on Peaches'. Despite that sunny expression of innocence on her face, her favourite colour is black with lots of water. Then she pushes and splodges grimy water across the paper until the point when she decides to paint her hand, her feet, her arm... you get the idea.

I'm not a major neat freak, but it's the surest way to finish off my patience. Perhaps I'd be able to deal with it if she used red or green. I try and join in and paint astronauts, princesses, fruit, shapes. But once she's on to the third sheet of grey misery I can't take it any more.

Before you know it, I'll have whipped out a roll of kitchen paper and will be cleaning up and singing in a cheery voice, 'it's time to ride your bike, let's go the beach way and will get to the swings'.

one morning...
Peaches: Where's my sister?
Recaro: She's not invented yet.

walking with fabulous childminder, when out of the blue...
Peaches: My sister's not invented yet.

chatting on her toy mobile phone...
Peaches: I haven't seen you in ages. [Phoney laugh]. Yes. Yes. Bye.
Sass: Who were you talking to?
Peaches: My sister.
Sass: What's her name?
Peaches: Laura.

drinking milk before bed at the end of a very long, nap-free day...
Peaches: (looking very sad) Mummy, where's my sister?

Is she trying to tell me something? Don't answer that.


I'm not a big believer in insisting Peaches says a bright hello to every person she meets. I think children go through shy phases and I don't see that ridicule or forcing them to say hello helps. My preferred tactic, right or wrong, is to declare that she's having a shy moment and that's she'll be fine in a moment.

And usually she is.

There are other times, when Peaches just wants to make friends. Sometimes that works really well, other times... even at the age of three there are little girls who know how to snub a friendly overture. Other times, it's just that the other child is having their own shy moment.

So now I am on a mission of seeing that Peaches gets a playdate with one of her buddies at least once every weekend. My theory (from the try-it-and-see school of parenting) is to give her plenty of chances to build good friendships from a young age based on frequency and fun.

That way, when someone is rude, thoughtless or shy, she knows they are just, well, rude, thoughtless or shy. She's also going to know that she's got a number of friends who are good fun, lively and sociable and that she's going to see them all again some time soon.

The next challenge might be to listen to her preference about who to play with... but I'll face that battle when I have to.

For SAHM this might seem like a no-brainer. As a working mum, it's been tempting to leave all that socialising, play group activity to the childminder. But I'm stepping up to the plate now. I'm taking telephone numbers off of people in the supermarket so that we can arrange playdates. This is a whole new way of living. It seems that I'm having to put my shy moment behind me too.


Nicol said...

I love that she is asking for her sister. That's how kids are.

I am trying to socialize more myself and also Livy. Like you, I'm trying to have playdates at least once a week. So far, we haven't had much luck. The weather has been horrible, doctor appointments and busy summer schedules. Good Luck!

A Modern Mother said...

Yes, painting is very low on my list too. It doesn't help that I have a friends that lets her girls paint whenever they want!

scrappysue said...

girls are SO good at snobbing others!!! it's a gift lol

have fun with all the new playdates!!! i need some playdates too i think

imbeingheldhostage said...

You seriously blogged through that? I turned everything off and watched it wrapped up in a quilt with the kids (and I'm still having serious broadband issues too, you?)
You are a great mom. I still vividly remember adults making a big deal out of my shy stage and I'm 45 now-- apparently it scarred me.

Now about that sister thing...

Working Mum said...

I hope that you aren't taking phone numbers of complete strangers in the supermarket! I'm amazed at your energy to organise playdates at the weekend; I'm so busy doing the shopping and housework that playdates come way down on the list.

Luckily, Izzy has joined Rainbows at the same time as another girl on our road who's just moved here, so I'm culitivating that friendship!

Patrice said...

Peaches is really a little dear. Setting playdates with our kids is an important aspect of their childhood days. This is one way of meeting more kids and friends.

Woman in a Window said...

She IS a dear. And didn't you know, the messier the project, the more they like it.

Ugh, which reminds me, we'll probably be painting tomorrow.

scrappysue said...

hello, hello, hello!!! have you given up blogging?

we've booked our eurostar tickets, so thought we better start making some plans to come visit!!!

Reluctant Housewife said...

Hi there! Just dropping in to say hello and make sure you're okay (are you?). I hope you're having a great summer!

Working Mum said...

I am assuming that you are having too much fun out and about with Peaches to keep up the blog at the moment. Hope that's the case. Looking forward to your return though.

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