When do kids have 'friends'?
We went to the beach last weekend with our friends who have two little girls very similar in ages to Soren and Poppy. Actually, their girls are less than two years apart (crazy!), while Soren and Poppy are two years and four months apart. We've known them for a while, and it's interesting to see the phases that kids go through, in regards to playing together. The three-year olds can have their own conversations, which makes me wish I could hear exactly what is being said. (Who says what? Who initiates change? Does one say no to bad ideas?) They still play separately a lot of the time, and tend to prefer mom or dad as their playmate of choice. We went through a phase a while back where Soren would occasionally hit another child at playgroups, thankfully that has passed.
The babies, on the other hand, had to be watched at all time and physically separated. Poppy just wants to eat everything in site, and she doesn't refrain from grabbing food out of another baby's hand. She would probably go so far as to remove it from their mouth. The other baby on the blanket is going through a biting phase, so her parents were a bit worried when Poppy would get too close.
Babies (and toddlers) are so funny. In many ways they are so far removed from being real 'people'. But this afternoon when I watched Poppy climb the stairs for the tenth time, I marvelled over the fact that in less than ten months she has learned the co-ordination to maneuver her limbs, and physically get herself from one floor to another. It's amazing, really, to think that my older baby can have independent friendships and play apart from me. Having two children gives you insight into what's to come, yet also makes me sad as I realize exactly how fast each stage passes. I'm not sad about the terrible sleep phase passing… Poppy is the WORST sleeper. It will be miraculous if we can get her sleeping in her crib all night before her first birthday. Speaking of which, I just had to peek at some pictures from Soren's first birthday. Eek! It's almost party-planning time for miss Poppy! Which 'friends' of hers should I invite? The biters? The hitters? Maybe the 'I eat my toes' friends...