Sometime (when I am wearing my Mum hat), I worry about Immy making it to almost four as an only child. I am always questioning if I have done enough for her socially, even though I know (when wearing my teacher’s hat) that most 3-4 year olds are still in the very early stages of learning to play socially – observing and mimicking others with tentative interactions.
Still I question whether our experiences at playgroup, kindy gym and play dates are enough. Whether my decision not to send her to child care or to pre-kindy was the right choice.
I worry when I see her intimidated by larger groups of children or noisy, active play, or when she ignores the advances of other children who are obviously trying to engage her in play.
And then something will happen to calm my mummy soul again. Like a visit to the playground.
She was captivated by a boy of similar age pretending there were sharks in the sandpit. He would ‘swim’ in the sand and then enthusiastically call out about the sharks and take refuge on the playground equipment.
Shortly after, the boy began following her around the playground, obviously interested in engaging her in play. At first I thought she was giving him the cold shoulder but then his perseverance and her curiosity collided and before I knew it they were talking, playing, following each other around the playground, as only almost four year olds can do. They played together until the boy had to leave.
And I breathed a huge sigh of relief.