I took The Little Girl to Monkey Joes over the weekend. She had been kind enough to be stuck at home with a sick mommy and not drive me insane. I thought we both deserved a treat. I got a milkshake for my sore throat. She got to play and bounce around. Win-Win!
Parents can’t play at Monkey Joes so she had to do the inflatables on her own. I knew she was happy just to be out of the house so I wasn’t too concerned that our impromptu trip was without friends. She did great for about 15-20 minutes be-bopping from one slide to another but I could tell she was getting bored, fast. Then, Monkey Joe himself comes out from a birthday party and begins to make his way back to the office. Skylar stopped dead in her tracks. She looked at me and said “C’mon Mom” and we started off in his direction. She stayed at a cautious distance. Every few steps she would turn to make sure I was right there with her. Some other kids had rushed up to him and their mom snapped a quick iPhone photo. Skylar still stood a safe distance away. Having been a school mascot before, I know for a fact that if you aren’t directly in front of the character, they have no idea you even exist because they can’t see you. After the photo with the other kids Monkey Joe headed for the break room. Skylar stalked after him and then turned to me in utter disappointment when she realized he wasn’t coming back. “But, Mom, I wanted to see him.”
We took our popsicle and headed to sit down. With my arm around her, I said, “Honey, I’m gonna tell you something that is called a Life Lesson. This is something that can be used in many different situations. When there is something that you want or something that you want to do, you just have to go for it. You can’t be worried about what other people will think and be wondering if there is someone to go with you. If you truly want something then you just have to go for it on your own.”
We talked about the situation with Monkey Joe and I left it alone hoping she somehow grasped this important lesson that I was trying to share with her but she was still pretty pouty. A few minutes later she got up to go play and then game running back to me saying, with great excitement, “Mommy, you know what? I made up my mind and I decided to do something!”
“Okay, honey. Great! What is it?”
“I decided I am going to make a friend and play” and off she went.
Now, I could end the post right here and be so proud but the part after this is another lesson to be learned.
I saw that she had her eye on a little boy probably twice her age, so probably 7 or 8. He had on a green shirt. She followed him in and out of every bouncy thing he tried. Let me tell ya, he was fast. I heard her call out to him “Wait, wait!” He was so fast that she never even got a chance to catch him and ask him to play with her. He was clearly uninterested.
I can’t tell you how sad I was as a parent to watch her try so hard to make a friend but never even get the chance to introduce herself. I thought about intervening. Trying to explain to her that this boy was a lot older and was playing with his brother and she might want to try to find someone closer to her age to play with. I refrained. Eventually, she did make another friend, all own her own. She made friends with the green-shirt boy’s even older sister. Ha!
Moral of the story: If you can’t get a boy to notice you, make friends with his sibling.
Oh, wait. Not that! I meant….
Always go for what you want and keep trying. You might find something better along the way.