It was only last October that we were obsessing over these cute updated pictures that we received of our 2 littlest. They were no longer tiny babies, and they were growing up halfway around the world without us. We were impatiently waiting for the final steps of the adoption to be completed, and we were waiting for these magical words: Travel Approval.
As I reflect back to when I had only my first 2 children (I say only because sometimes 2 can feel like 10!), I was really into hosting and attending playdates. I recall my first trip out of the house alone with 2 children. I was still wearing my pregnancy clothes. My son was 3 weeks old and I technically shouldn’t have been driving (per the doctor) but I HAD to make it out of the house. I was young and still had the energy of a 20-something mom I suppose, even when completely sleep deprived. I went to a playdate with a bunch of moms that ended up becoming lifelong friends. I got out of the car and wondered how the heck I was going to cross the street with a 3 year old, a newborn baby in a carseat, and a large ceramic dish full of watermelon slices? Oh, and probably a diaper bag. Another mom swooped in to help, and I learned to juggle. I learned to reevaluate how to get things done, if I got things done. I learned to accept help gracefully when it was offered.
I shouldn’t have worried so much about how my daughter’s role in the family changed. She adjusted. She dances and giggles with her little brother by day and chats and sings with her little sister by night. She still has a very special role in the family, and she has a way of getting what she wants from her older siblings, her Nana, the neighbors, and even *ahem* her parents.
Perhaps this is what happens with larger families, but the playdates stopped. My friends stopped having kids as our older kids got…older. I never found a new group of friends that had children Ellie’s age, and I was busy with life as I juggled sports and activities for the 3 biggest. Ellie’s interactions with kids her own age was minimal to none until the adoption. She had Nana to herself all day and a bunch of big kids that catered to her on nights and weekends.
She’s pretty sure the world revolves entirely around her.
She has declared, with certainty, that she is a princess.
I decided that it’s time to get her involved with some peers that she doesn’t happen to be related to. As a working mom, my options are completely limited. I ended up signing her up for a ballet/tap class and a weekly evening playgroup at the library~the only 2 options in town.
She was thrilled to finally be big enough to go to school (playgroup). She wants to take the school bus. My little girl is so ready to be big. However, she is one of the youngest kids in the playgroup, and struggles with some of the rules.
She can only go under the parachute when it’s her turn?!
She has to raise her hand to talk?!
Isn't it puzzle time instead?!
She can’t hold the newborn baby that attends with his big sister?!
Dance class started the same week as her playgroup. She was thrilled about the idea of dance class until she got there and a gaggle of 2 year olds were screaming, completely terrified to be a room away from their mamas. She came out of the room at the end with her lollipop and said, “Mommy I do not want to go back to dance!” I paid for the first month, so we tried again the following week. The initial screams were not as intense, but again, at least half of the girls screamed in terror as their mamas left the room. I honestly give the teacher so much credit! We just had show week, and my little one got to show off her skills.
Should I worry so much about socialization? Probably not.
She's a pretty awesome little lady.
Dance away, my sweet one.