Thursday, May 28, 2009
On Long Island, spring brings on summer in dribs and drabs. We wake up needing a sweatshirt, only to go out and discover we need shorts. By evening we need that sweatshirt again, and as the sun goes down we might even we donning our winter coats again. Most baseball parents are on the ball with this, carrying in their car all sorts of coats and blankets.
Last week we had an unusual day during which shorts weather lasted through the evening. At my son’s baseball game, I was happy that there were some other little children playing nearby to keep my toddler busy. That meant I wouldn’t be dragged to the swings when I wanted to watch him play.
My almost-three-year-old is tall for her age and has very long hair. She is also used to playing with her older siblings. This gives her an aura of being much older. She typically gets taken as a four-year-old. Sometimes this is embarrassing, as people realize she is still in diapers, or when she misbehaves in church. Both are things we are actively working on.
The children were picking rocks out of the dirt and throwing them down a drain. This was very absorbing work. Among the children were a few five-year-olds, some four-year-olds, and one three-year-old. I knew this because it was the topic of conversation for them.
My daughter’s idea of conversation with other kids is “Hi girl”. She is good with cooperative play but doesn’t talk during it. She responds to most questions with a smile and goes on playing.
So when the kids asked her how old she was, she deflected the question with a smile as usual. The three-year-old would not let it go. “How old you are? How old you are?” she repeated, pulling on her shirt.
My daughter bent over to drop another pebble down the grate. Her diaper stuck out of the back of her shorts. The five-year-old boy saw this and exclaimed, “She still wears diapers! She must be two! She’s just a baby!”
Now all of the children stopped treating her like she was one of them. One by one, they left the area. “Where kids go?” my daughter asked, slightly forlorn.
Then she started crying. “Boo boo butt,” she sobbed. I looked and found a bug bite.
“You have a bug bite honey,” I explained, “When we get home we can put some lotion on it and make it feel better.”
“Home now,” she complained, “Car, go home.”
The pesky little bug bite continued to bother her through the evening. I am glad she didn’t make the connection between the bug bite and wearing shorts – otherwise, she would refuse to wear them.