"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Monday, November 14, 2011

preschool diaries: bribery works...and....the admirer

Just a quick update on the Happy Drop-Off "Incentive" Program we started a few weeks ago: Bribery Works. Now to figure out how to rein it in...maybe just wait until the Halloween candy is gone? For now, we're just basking in the tear-free, pleasant goodbyes....even if I do have to respond to the comment, "But saying goodbye is just So Hard. And I just miss you and Max So Much," 47 times every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning....

And on a completely different Preschool Subject....

So, apparently, there's this girl.

I know, RIGHT? Last Friday, Evan got into the car talking about a little girl in his class. I'll call her A. He mentioned her several times in retelling the activities of his day, prompting me to say, "A sounds like a really nice friend. Do you play with A?" He shrugged his shoulders and said, "I guess." Then he said, "We should have a playdate with A at our house." !!! He's never asked to play with a friend before. All playdates happen because Mommy makes them happen. "That sounds like a great idea, buddy! Maybe I could call her Mommy and set up a time for them to come over." He didn't respond and I didn't belabor the point. The subject changed to other topics and we didn't mention A again all weekend.

Today, I arrived to pick him up a few minutes early. When I popped my head in the classroom, Ms. B was reading a story and the kids were seated on the rug. "A" was sitting thisclose to Evan, who appeared completely oblivious to the physical proximity of this little girl. When she saw me, she started (gently, but firmly) pulling on his arm and pointing to me, indicating that it was time for him to leave. Evan, again oblivious to the physical contact, instead looks at me, silently points to the story, and asks me with only a look "Can we stay and listen to the end?" So Max and I take our seats on the rug.

For the rest of the read-aloud, A sits with the entire left side of her body touching the entire right side of Evan's body. Every so often, she glances back at me and offers a shy, sweet smile that I can only read as, "Um? giggle I like your son," and then....periodically PLACES HER HAND ON HIS ARM and once even HOLDS HIS HAND. And all the while, Evan is so engrossed in the book that he is COMPLETELY oblivious to her advances. Either that or this is such a regular occurrence that he's used to it by now. (?!)

As we're walking out to the car, Evan says, "Well, A wants to play at our house."
"Sure! Did you invite her over?"
"No. She said it."
"Oh, well, would you like A to come over to play?"
"[Sigh] I guess. She said she's going to."

I asked him if they play together at school.
"Sometimes. She plays with ALL the kids, though."
"And sometimes you play with her?"
"Yes. And I'm the puppy and she feeds me carrots."

Then we shared a good laugh about Who Feeds a Puppy CARROTS?!

Lesson Learned:
I'm not going to rush to set up a playdate. I think I'll wait to figure out if this is a friendship he wants to develop or if she's pursuing him one-sidedly. And if she is, that's not a bad thing: Evan is used to being the Decision Maker when it comes to play around here. It wouldn't be terrible for him to experience what Max experiences on a near-daily basis. And besides Max and his cousins, Evan doesn't really play with other kids. He watches what other kids do and sometimes plays alongside his peers, but he rarely engages WITH other kids. So this is a really Huge Step in his social development. And can't you just picture it? "A," a sweet little, blonde-ponytailed girl saying, "Okay, Evan. Now you're my puppy and I'm going to feed you carrots," and Evan rolling his eyes at the absurdity of the game....yet still playing along. Because that's what socially well-adjusted kids do.

Yup. He's going to be Just Fine. I'm keeping my eye on A, though.

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