Saturday, August 2, 2008

Updates after a long time - Part III -Social and general disposition

As I think about this time next year, if everything goes as planned, Vansh would have started school full time by now. And as I look at his blooming personality now, as he continues to become a unique person, sharing some common traits with friends, nurturing the same kind of interests with others, and yet being a unique person like no one else around, I oft find myself wondering about how is he going to go about his day in school? How is he going to interact with other kids? Is he going to get himself into a lot of tiffs? Would he know what to do when in one? Is he going to put across not just his needs but also his feelings, things that make him uncomfortable, to his teachers? I read about other friends' kids on their blogs and wonder what would Vansh do if faced with such a situation?

As of now he is such a transparent child. Sends out vibes literally to everyone around. Just one look at his face and you don't even have to know him to tell whether he is having a good day or a bad one. He walks with unmistakable jigs in his steps, still lets out unabashed baby like squeals when he is extremely pleased. Always popular as the giggler, his giggles are actually contagious. Equally obvious is his displeasure - taut body, shoulders stooping down, worry written on his face in bold. However he cannot pin point the cause of his displeasure. He is so much a child of the present moment that 5 minutes after something made him happy or unhappy, he would continue in that state, having no inkling at all what caused it in the first place. There would be other things catching his attention and he would tend to those, giggling or whining, depending on what happened 5 minutes back. No surprises that he doesn't come running to us with the day's stories. He just doesn't remember them. Ashwini was surprised to see 2 reasonably big marks (he had bumped into the corner of a small stool) on his chin last evening and even more surprised that he didn't mention it to him till the time he went to bed which included brushing his teeth which must have surely hurt. We wonder how are we ever going to know whether he got into some trouble unless we see a physical mark.

And then there are times he makes me so proud of him. The other day we had a very new friend visit us in the late afternoon with her 2-1/2 year old son A. A was exactly like what Vansh used to be one year back. Immediately acting on his instincts - putting some toy animals on top of Jiya's hand gently at first and suddenly doing that roughly not realizing that it might be hurting her, pretending that he's a dinosaur and push Vansh in the process and the likes. His mother was constantly on her toes and having been the exact same situation myself I knew it was no one's fault. He was a high energy child who was still pretty young to understand ways to handle his energy. Probably I would have been very judgmental but my little guy has wisened me up in these matters. Vansh was uncomfortable around him from the word go. Had this guy come into our house like that a year before, I am very sure Vansh would have hit him or pushed him and I would have been constantly physically holding him back. He uses his 'roars' now when he is unhappy about someone getting physical with him. So he roared several times. And he is a perceptive little guy, very observant and extremely aware of the present surroundings, almost to the extent that he would sense when the next blow to Jiya or himself was about to come when we wouldn't have a clue. I, as a result, would shush him saying that A was playing calmly and it was not nice to be so loud at him then. But the blow would follow very shortly. After some calm time had passed, Vansh did try to befriend A. His way of befriending someone is acting silly with them, making them giggle at his antics which include at times gently snatching something the other child is playing with, giggling and then giving it back. Now the other little guy was too possessive, for even the very short moment Vansh took one of the animals he was playing with, and the pushes and the roars started again. At this point, I saw Vansh just get up from there and go to his room. I thought I'll go to talk to him after giving him a few minutes alone. However just after about a minute, he started banging the door of his room, something that makes me very very nervous and as a result he retorts to to get my attention when he needs it immediately. I went in there and he had gotten back to sitting on the bed there and had just picked up a book. He saw me and told me he was angry and had come here to cool down. I told him I was proud of the way he was handling his feelings and asked him whether he wanted me too read a book to him or would he do it himself. He chose the latter. I asked him if I could leave. He said yes. I kissed him and told him to come back when he's ready. Which he did after about 10 minutes and then the way the boys got along was pretty amazing. Vansh was more willing to share some of his toys he earlier wasn't, even the ones he is quite touchy about, but only for a few minutes and then he would take them back.

But being a mother isn't easy - worry is quintessential. Would always he be the absolutely benevolent one deciding to give up his special toys in an attempt to be friendly. I was shocked when one of his friends at summer camp saw his latest prized possesion - a steering wheel with some sound effects et al, Ashwini got for him 2 days back - something he eats, sleeps, dreams of ever since, asked him whether he could have it for a day and without batting an eyelid, Vansh said "Yes!" The said friend's mother is a good friend and I didn't know what to say since Vansh had already said yes but it literally stung as if I was parting with my personal favorite belonging for a day. Was this what I had repeated "Its nice to share" for! It might sound making a big deal out of nothing but this was my initial reaction for a thing Vansh was not ready to part with for even a single moment. Now this kid M is generally an extremely 'street-smart' kid in our language, amazingly energetic and already knows the ways of the world, what works where. And Vansh is so fond of him that he gets away with doing a lot of things to Vansh that any other child wouldn't. Is it Vansh's fear or is it awe, I don't know. If I ask him he simply says I like M and I don't want to ask him why in spite of the fact that he snatches your things or acts rough with you at times. What I worry about is - is he going to be okay just giving away things or favors to those who he is in awe/fear of like this little M. Complexities in friendships are arising already :)

..Shall have to continue this one as its turning out to be pretty long.


Monika,Ansh said...

Wow , that was amazing maturing Vansh showed with A at his age.

I can understand your feelings abt the toy Vansh shared with another friend. But I do not think that has so much of a deeper meaning attached.

Take care & have a great weekend!

Suma said...

vansh is going to be a wonderful brother...i'm quite amazed at his maturity in going to his room to calm himself down...

i understand your dilemma in the latter situation...i remember when the kids were small, and sometimes they would be fascinated with a toy in a friend's house and would want to take it back home, ...and i would always make them give it back immediately, saying this is not ours, we will come again to play with it...(even if the said parent is okay with us taking it away...)

see, vansh is now slowly learning the ways of the world, soon he will make up his mind whethr he likes to give in to 'M' always...the problem then will be M's reaction ...

hope you had a wonderful weekend...

Gauri said...

Like the other said Neera - I'm amazed too at the maturity he showed in going off to his room.

And yes, like you said, parenting does involve changing equations - sometimes a bit too rapidly for our comfort :)

Neera said...

Monika, Ansh: Yeah even though I have been asking and showing him for quite some time now to go to his room to cool down when he is aggressively angry about something, it was indeed very mature of him to do it at that time.
And yes you are right, kids really are simple beings.

Suma: Exactly what I do too and then there are others who don't mind it at all leading to some awkwardness at times.
Thanks for the insight. I look forward for these from friends who have older kids.

Gauri: You said it :) Feels good to have u here after so long :)