Inter-Age Group Socialization
As I've mentioned before, our apartment doesn't have air conditioning. It's not so bad, even in this heat wave, but no matter the temperature we have to escape every once in a while. Especially when Kenzo is cranky and not napping. Distraction is key and the best kind of distraction for him is a different environment! If it's nice outside we'll take a walk, come home, go to the grocery store, come home, go to the park, come home, etc etc. Anything to break up the day. But it's too hot for those lovely adventures so I thought I'd give the library a shot. We go there every Monday and Wednesday for their free Babies & Books classes, and recently we've been popping in to get those board baby books as we only have about 10 at home and I was soooooooooooo tired of reading them over and over again! Now we go about twice a week and get about 10 each time. Not sure Kenzo cares about it but I'm all excited to read the different stories!! Some are so fun and cute, others are a joke - like really, how did this get published? I could have come up with something more interesting! haha!
I digress. Where I was going with this is that I took Kenzo to the lil' kids area of the library today to just hang out for the first time. They have a special room that is semi-sound proofed with a door that shuts. I brought a big blanket for him to sit on since the carpet in there is pretty cruddy (they don't have a shoes off policy, boo!!). I brought 5 squeezy blocks and a couple of other toys. There were a couple of other families in there reading and I sat him down and started stacking his blocks for him and letting him knock them over.
There was a little boy walking around the room shoving crackers in his mouth, making a terrible mess on himself and the floor all over the room. Cue disapproving mom face. *SMH* I think he was with his nanny, but I didn't call her that, remembering all the responses I got from yesterday's post saying people thought they were a nanny to their baby simply because their skin tones didn't quite match. But not only was this woman a completely different complexion but if she was related she was his grandmother if anything. But anyway, she was totally ignoring him. Poor guy. He starts inching his way closer and closer to the fun action going on between me and Kenzo and our blocks. Sure enough he is finally brazen enough to join us and start STEALING MY BABY'S BLOCKS, with his crumb covered hands no less. I had been listening out for any sort of sniffle or cough the second he started making his way toward us, so I'm pretty sure we're in the clear there. But crumbs on the blocks Kenzo sucks on. He hasn't had solids yet, who knows what kinda allergies he has yet. CUE ANXIOUS MOM FREAKING OUT. lol
Anyway, I just pushed my worries to the back of my mind and fostered a sharing playful environment between the two of them. Showing them they could stack and knock over the blocks together, and even enjoying the advanced level of play this 2.5 year old had (for example asking him what animal was on each block and what sound it made). The whole time his nanny or grandma or whoever was in the corner of the room not even attempting to join or monitor. That's probably the part I have the most problem with.
Until today, Kenzo really hadn't socialized directly with anyone outside of his itty bitty baby cohort, and I liked it that way. I'm a bit uncomfortable with him playing with older kids, because of germs and especially if I'm the only one around to mediate - I can't keep Kenzo from scratching the other kid AND keep the other kid from throwing a toy at Kenzo's head, ya know? Oh, the joy I have to look forward to when Kenzo has a baby brother or sister (in a few years folks, don't get any ideas here!!). On the other hand, playing with older kids is probably good for his development, not to mention it's downright entertaining for him to just observe them and their crazy antics.
What do you think? Do you keep your little ones playing with others their own age? Do they prefer playing with older or younger kids?
6/28/2013 05:29:48 am
Love this post!
Leave a Reply.
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)