After a lifetime of “parallel play” with other children, Stephen is finally old enough to engage and play with other kids. Yesterday we spent the morning with my friends Kristin and Spring. Stephen introduced himself to Kristin’s 6 month old many times in the car, and didn’t quite get why she wouldn’t respond no matter how many times he said, “My name Stephen!” He was very excited to see his 2 year old friend Madelyn, and shared lunch with her.
This morning at church he made friends with a 4 year old boy, Owen, in the cry room. Stephen began the friendship by sharing a book and some raisins, then Owen suggested, “Let’s be tigers!” The two crawled around roaring at each other until they decided to be snakes, dinosaurs, frogs, and finally, bears. Owen said that he would be the daddy dinosaur and Stephen could be the baby dinosaur, but Stephen said, “NO! I’m not a baby. I’m a big boy!” Then the big boys showed each other all their boo-boos and swapped injury stories. Owen even kissed Stephen’s elbow where it’s bruised. They took off their shoes and had a barefoot foot-fight, which they thought was hilarious but concerned the pious parents. They resorted to jumping around laughing, until my very oral Stephen (who still eats dirt and rocks) started licking the walls and floor. Owen followed suit, protesting, “He did it!” when ordered by his father not to lick the wall. Communion ended the wall-licking turbulence, and the boys were re-shoed. “Bye, friend!” They said at the end of mass.
I’m not sure who enjoyed it more–me or them!