Okay, so we had fun. I also learned more about my child. I thought I knew her so well but I was wrong and know I know what I need to pay attention to: social skills.
Yep, thats right. Grace's social skills are not what I expected.
If you know Grace (in real life as opposed to blog-life!), you are probably shocked to read that. My daughter. Grace. The Bossy One. Little Miss Social Butterfly. Type A. That's how she is at home and with her friend-family. Not so much with her Day Care Friends.
M, E, and S are her Day Care Friends. M and Grace have grown up together from the first week of day care until now, when they are both about 3 years old. 'Ghani (the day care woman....aka my hero!) always calls them best friends. I saw something different this weekend.
There is a Day Care clique and Grace is not part of it.
E is the girl Grace used to bite and hit and all that. E is also the girl who bit Grace a few times, leaving bruises. Well all that has passed but I think I see why it happened in the first place. Every time this weekend at the party that Grace and M were palying together, E would literally push herself in the middle and drag M away from Grace. Grace naturally gravitated toward the younger kids, taking on such a Little Mommy role with them.
Is it the only child thing? Never having to share attention or playmates? Or is it that we have ingrained such a "good girls dont hit/bite/yell/etc" in her that now she isnt even sure how to stand up for herself? Does it hurt that I dont really like E or her parents? Could that be coming through somehow to Grace?
It was heartbreaking to watch Grace, normally my little miss social butterfly, involved in the playing but on the outside, looking in. She seemed to be fine playing by herself but I hated to see all these groups os kids playing and then there was Grace, bouncing and having a great time but almost by herself.
It reminded me of myself actually. In the middle of everything but on the outside just a little. Its safer there for me. Could Grace be the same way? How to I show her that 1) its okay to stand up for yourself if another kid pushes her way into your space, and 2) that playing with other kids is fun, not scary.
I want her to know that she is loved, that other kids do in fact like her, and that she can join in to play. But how?
((P.S.: E is not in the picture. M and S and Grace are.))