this week was a big week for us. like, huge. gage not only went to a place called wee play knowing full well the excursion was to get him to meet and play with new kids, but he had his first play date. i had a hard time not bursting into tears of joy when we got in the car after both outings and gage beamed with pride saying, "mom, i have friends!"
we have always let gage be gage. he has always been very quiet and reserved and has never been interested in meeting other kids or really putting himself out there. about a year ago the husband and i started injecting little bits about getting out there and making friends to him, but we did it carefully so the seed was planted, but not over watered. every time we passed a school his daddy and i would tell him how much we loved school and how much we enjoyed making friends there. at first the answer was simply, "no", but a month ago he sighed heavily when i asked him about it and said, "fine, but you're going to have to buy me a lunch box."
about 3 months ago gage started to stay by kids when they would enter his space (about 6 feet around him). at old navy he would let another kid come and play in the little light thing they had. the first time i saw him do this i was floored, and stood silently watching him trying not to disrupt the new balance of the universe. last month he finally expressed interest in seeing what other kids do, perhaps to figure what they are all about. last week he was finally there and told me, "mom, i am ready to make some friends."
i told him i would set up a play date with some other mommies and their kids and he said, "okay, but i am not going to meet the moms or know their names." okay. we met up with a group of ladies i found on meet-up and it was a very successful moment for him. he still doesn't completely know how to get in there and play with kids, especially the more aggressive ones, but he accepts that they are children and that he wants to be one, too. he made a little friend named frankie and they ran around together. what surprised me most was that he also went and played on his own after frankie left. usually gage wouldn't make it about 5 feet away from me, but this week he went on slides and climbed all over things all on his own. i was so proud. so, so, proud.
chunk is still a bit too young to care about interaction, and doesn't really care about other kids. she is becoming increasingly independent lately and actually prefers to play on her own a lot of the day. there is a mat by our sliding glass door and she loves to sit on it with random toys and have her own imagination time. she has so many scenarios that play out in her little brain that i have a hard time keeping up. at 21 months old she acts so much older and speaks so much that i often forget she is still so young.
current most used favorites by chunk include, "i don't like it" "i like it (insert object her)" "i don't know" "where'd it go?" "i see it (insert object here" "car-e (what she calls herself when she says her name, but usually she simply says 'i') go park" "here go, mama" "i bringing moo moo (her lovie cow)" "mama give kitty cat (that's when she decides i should be able to make our neighbors cat magically appear on our driveway. brilliant.)
she talks so much. gage will say something and she will repeat it verbatim, and then she will put it in rotation. that's how we got "i bringing _" - gage said, "i'm bringing minnie mouse" and chunk exclaimed, "i'm bringing moo moo!" and there it was. gage loves counting everything and chunk will imitate him and point to things going, "one, one, one, one". she got mad that he dad was working from home the other day, slammed on the closed door and screamed, "i don't like it closed!!!!" i don't know if i am impressed by her language development or terrified, but i am a lot happy she enjoys the act of speaking and learning so much.
chunk is still obsessed with mouse, but she is allowing a bit of branching out in the tv rotation. she is getting better at throwing tantrums, but she is also starting to understand they don't always work. she loves dancing and playing outside with the water table and is almost always up for an adventure. we have been going to the local concert series every friday night here and she loves running around through the crowds and dancing along to the various bands. she is still a total mama's girl, but expects her dad to be on call 24/7 if she so desires anything from him. she has a very strong personality and i am excited to see how it grows with her.
the husband bought me a new mazda 5 this last weekend during the worst father's day weekend ever. yes, we got a new car, but he also got an e.r. trip on father's day and none of us were able to enjoy the beautiful weekend outside. and now it's like 80 bajillion degrees outside because the universe is taunting us for starting to get a bit comfortable here in nova. but we are getting comfortable, so the universe is going to have to back off for a bit. we have goals for ourselves and for our kids and we are going to make them. because that's how we have decided to roll. if gage can do it, so can we.