This past weekend we met up with the classmates of EG for a little outside of school social time. We walked to the local park at the appointed time, and happily were swinging when the first other kids showed up.
Shortly after child #1 came EG's favorite friend from school. So in love is she with this other toddler, she's even named her doll after her. Yup, call that love. Let's call this adorable little girl M, just so we can watch the story develop.
Before Working Dad and I were married we went on a cruise to Alaska with his family. Since we were unwed at that time, I stayed in my own cabin with one of the three soon-to-be nieces sharing every night (or so.). I remember when we were in Skagway and running into my Mother-in-law and a soaked 5 year old R. She had fallen into the ocean after hugging a friend so fiercely on the shoreline. I couldn't imagine how that could happen. Now, I see it every time we run into a friend.
Back to the playgound:
It's great to see little toddler's hug each other. Their fierce devotion, and the smiles, and giggles. Unless, you feel the need to call it tackling. As in, I hug you so fiercely we both
fall over. As in, I love you so much I don't want to let go, even when
you are kicking your feet go get away...
Hence ensues the chase M game. I try hard to allow poor M, who just wants to climb the stairs, to escape from EG's clutches. Long enough for EG to roam the playground yelling enthusiastically for M. It works out okay for a little bit as M is usually on the top of the slide when EG finds her, so not to many crazy hugging tackles.
Then comes baby T. At least M is a touch older than EG. A full on toddler with mite and willpower. Little T, not so much. EG goes running up to her, screaming her name, and collides straight into her.
T, poor dear, bursts into tears. It breaks my heart. When love turns wrong.
Of course, I don't know quite what to do about this- little EG is just trying to show her love. I talked with Working Dad about it and he thinks I'm overreacting, but I worry that no one will want to play with EG... how will she learn to control her little emotions.
It's funny, because now that I'm writing about it, I realize that this has been a long time coming. Her favorite thing to do when she was littler was what I called the 'butt hug' where she would hug you as you crawled away. She loves to run into my arms, just throwing herself at me with love. And how can you not love that?
What's so bad about hugging. And the reality is that very shortly EG's playful pals will be able to say "No touching" or "Get off me." So, I suppose it will all work out in the end.
Do you have an 'exuberant' child? One who is a little rough around the social edges. G-d love her all the same. And of course, while we're at the park another parent comments that they wish their child was as outgoing as little EG. The grass is always greener...