FROM HIM: We might be verging on paranoid in regards to Edgar’s ability to socialise, largely because we are rightfully (or selfishly) not providing him with a sibling.
A brother or sister, who could teach him how to fight over stuff, the rules of jealousy and parental favouritism.
He won’t learn how to turn an otherwise peaceful moment into shouting and screaming and accusations and forced apologies.
Being the first born, he won’t learn how to prey on the young, manipulate and bully them.
The stuff he owns will be safe from thievery and destruction.
Yes, sadly, he won’t ever have that at home.
Which is why I have to take him to as many groups as possible, so that he can learn it all there.
Except, the weird thing about playgroups is: that there isn’t that much socialising going on.
Between the parents yes.
They talk about the relentlessness of parenting, why they chose the name Amarillo, sleeping patterns, whether or not their kids can walk/talk/shit/somersault zzzzzz (myself included).
The kids however are politely steered away from each for fear of causing offence.
‘No Timmy, that little boy is playing with that.’
And Timmy is moved away from an otherwise social encounter with Edgar.
‘It’s okay,’ I say, with a big smile to highlight its okayness; but they just think I’m being nice and Timmy has already been physically removed from the embarrassment.
Then I start to wonder if I’m the only one.
Whenever Edgar wanders up to some unsuspecting child and starts trying to do whatever they are doing, I don’t tell him he can’t.
I get a look from the parent, and I offer an apology.
‘Sorry,’ I say.
I’m sorry, but I brought my child here to play with other children, and even though he’s not really going to play that fairly (because he’s a 1yr old!), your child isn’t bothered, you are, so I’m sorry – sorry you are you.
Because when I do meet a like minded parent who basically just wants to watch their children interact (and try and help them learn how) it proves well worth the wait, a perfect moment that otherwise would have been missed.
Only when Edgar has snatched a ball from someone, can he learn to give it back.
Only when Edgar has climbed on top of another child to get to the toy they’re playing with, can he feel the warmth of their back.
In the latest brief encounter, Edgar excitedly collected a ball from the bottom of a toy and gave it to a wiser 18 month old so that she could put it in the hole at the top, which made it appear at the bottom again.
He was in fits of laughter (and I dare say slightly in love for the first time) as this angel of comedy took the ball he had offered and magically made it appear at the bottom.
Once she broke his heart (like all the other bitches) by moving onto a toy which required pushing and pressing, Edgar took the ball and tentatively looked at me in excited anticipation.
He carefully picked the ball up and placed it in the hole at the top.
And guess what?
It got stuck.
So the magical requisite skill for ball reappearance was forever the possession of the illusive girl.
I nearly exploded with love for his disappointed face.
I cuddled him up and he struggled his way out.
I retrieved the ball.
He threw it away.
He’d had enough disappointment for one day.
We love spam. Juicy, meaty, tinned bit of joy. But we hate unsolicited bulk email. Which is why if you added your email address to the handful of others who subscribe, then you would only ever receive the crap that we write. Just imagine being the first to the read the post, ahead of the other two! Go on, you know you want to.