So my wife takes Bub to a sample music class yesterday, and afterwards calls me freaking out that our son is a borderline social pariah (don’t know where he’d get that from).
She said he didn’t really interact with any of the myriad kids or adults there, couldn’t crawl like all the others despite being the oldest, didn’t really seem overly interested in the music, and just generally made her feel like a bad mother.
Whoa, Bub, whoa. And whoa, wife, whoa, too. Let’s discuss.
It’s true that we don’t have any close friends with little tykes running around; that’s just the way things played out. It’s not ideal, certainly, but it’s the hand we’ve got, and we’re all in. We have certainly noticed that Bub doesn’t seem overly interested in other children, of course.
Consider the barbecue we attended a couple weeks ago: Kids out the wazoo, and Bub spent about a half-hour staring at a brick wall. Literally. He was practicing standing, yes, but still, he was in fact in the corner, back to all, staring at bricks and mortar, happy as can be. Now who was I to deny that happiness and force him into socializing?
Our neighbors have kids, we see them all the time. The oldest (4) tries to interact with Bub; last night that cost her a few strands of hair. He did the same to a couple brave souls at the music class yesterday. Not the most inviting of gestures, to be sure.
I, of course, have developed several theories. One, Bub is a huge control freak. He’s still very much in an exploring, feel/taste everything mindset. The inert world is endlessly fascinating right now, it can be controlled, handled, shoved in his mouth; the fluid world, not so much. The fluid world pulls away when you grab a handful of its hair. That’s no fun. Mr. Spatula would never do that to him.
Two, he’s a late bloomer. Coming from stock that notched his first kiss at 17, this would not be surprising in the least. Fact: Einstein didn’t talk until he was 4. And he turned out pretty okay.
Three: He’s hyper-mature. Since he has spent most of his young life around adults, I’m not sure he can really be bothered to “play” with other kids. He’d rather meditate, read Tolstoy or study the architectural integrity of brick structures. Pulling your hair is not a form of play, it’s a shunning of it. Take a hint there, kids.
Well, whatever the case may be, I reminded my wife that we don’t know the stories on those other kids—they probably have lots of siblings and small-baby relatives and such. It’s really easy to get caught up comparing your child to everyone else’s, like the rearing is always greener on the other side. It’s silly. The truth is we parents are the control freaks, not Bub. Kids grow and develop at their own rate, and they all eventually get it. So relax, don’t believe the hype and don’t beat yourself up—you and your baby are doing just fine.