I'm finding his super social side somewhat terrifying and fabulous all at the same time. He's not shy and doesn't know to exercise caution around strangers. Mommy on the other hand is obsessed by the ever present dangers of strangers! I don't want to scare him into his shell, but at the same time I don't want him climbing into the back of a transit van, lured by the offer of a puppy to stroke or a pack of sweeties!
The other downside to his super-friendly nature is dealing with rejection. It's an incredibly heartbreaking thing for Mommy to cope with when these 'friends' don't reciprocate his offer of friendship!
And recently I'm finding the meanie-kids hard to deal with on my boy's behalf. As opposed to corporal punishment as I am, when a much older kid is mean to my loving little manny I'm feeling an unwelcome urge to smack em one!
Luckily so far, he doesn't seem too phased by the kids that are not so friendly towards him, at worst he seems a little confused at their reticence to respond or join in.
It's happened to him on a few occasions now where an older kid has told him to 'get out' or 'go away' because 'babies aren't allowed in here!'. I feel like someone is squeezing my heart and it's all I can do to stop my own tears from falling.
Yesterday he was dancing in his Grandma's studio, and he invited some older girls hanging about outside the room to come and dance with him.
"Come dance please!" he smilingly welcomed them into the studio in his high pitched voice and gesturing with his hand. But they didn't answer him. He repeated the invitation a few times and they just looked blankly at him. He looked to me confused and I just smiled and danced him into distraction.
Today was the worst yet though. My little fella was decked out in a Spiderman costume at a friend's house party. He loves dressing up, and he was overjoyed to find this superhero suit just waiting for him in a playhouse outside.
This one had a proper hooded mask which he eagerly pulled over his head, so he was really well disguised.
There were a lot of bigger kids at the party playing in the bedrooms, where all the toys were at, and my master of disguise had disappeared in one of rooms.
I went in search of him, and found that one door was closed, and I could hear a kid inside saying 'There's a baby in here!' in a not-so-friendly tone, followed by 'We don't want babies in here!'
I didn't mess around knocking! I went in to find my super little guy had climbed up onto the top bunk of a pink princess bed and was stroking a kitten. He looked adorable in his costume and strangely vulnerable too.
And the meanie kid - who was about seven years old, and looked just like the really annoying know-it-all kid on Polar Express - had climbed up the side of the bed and was leaning over our little one telling him he wasn't welcome.
I couldn't see the look on my boy's face due to the hoody, but it was fairly obvious he was glad to see me. He showed no signs off upset, except he wanted out of his Spiderman clothes - 'Take it off Mum' is all he said, then he jumped down into my arms.
I made sure to keep a happy smile pasted on my face, though I was seething at the bigger boy's rotten behavior. And my tummy was in turmoil that my baby's feelings had been hurt.
I'm sure I'll have to contend with much worse in the future, and our kid will eventually realize not everyone in the world wants to be friends with him, but for now, I'd like to keep him bubble wrapped and safely away from all the meanie-pies out there who might rain on his happy parade!