I love the park more when I go with friends who have kids close to Noah's age. I need to remember to do this more often, just call someone who's free during the day & go. Today a friend of mine, with a boy very much like Noah, changed my mind about being a recluse all the time. It was nice to have someone for him to navigate towards when the bigger kids were too much for his abilities.
Noah gravitates to big kids when we go alone, and sometimes they get him in trouble. Like the kid who was going to boost Noah up enough to get on a sliding handle thing...no idea what it is called, but bad for children who cannot reach on their own! I remembered to thank him for helping Noah, after my heart attack ended! The scarier part was my kid was totally on board and not even scared to be up so high!
Also, there are kids who are older but take Noah's little boy playing, pretending he's a superhero or in Star Wars, as a personal affront. Noah is 3, and he plays in pretend-ville right now. Everything is light sabers, pirates, and dinosaurs. He thinks his Batman jammies make him into Batman for goodness sakes! So the one kid who got in Noah's face like he was going to hit him, was a huge problem and got me all momma-bear. I don't care if my child said he was going to 'shoot you, cut you, punch your butt', or whatever crazy karate chop hands he did in the air, big kids should know little kids are weird. Noah thinks he's asking kids to play whatever game, and expects them to pretend play pretend right back. He's not really going to hit other kids. He's never actually hit another kid that I remember. If my kid DID do anything physically aggressive, or hurt someone, he'd be in trouble. We go over how it's not nice to talk nasty and mean, but I know he's influenced by things he sees. Even the Veggie Tales Pirates movie has slashing with swords! Dinosaurs roar at each other and are agressive. Maybe some kids just prey on other smaller kids?
Fortunately for Noah, momma was there to give the big kid 'the look' to rethink his intimidation on my kid. Watching from where the big kid couldn't see, it was like a shark circling on a minnow, and showing off for his older friend. There was pure shock on the boy's face to see a grownup step into sight when he moved in to hurt my kid. Had the boy not been giving his friend a running commentary about what he was doing, I may not have noticed what was happening as soon as I did.
I just don't know what else to do to explain to him that it's not a good idea to yell "hiya!" with karate chop hands at big kids without him getting hurt by one eventually. Granted, most of the bigger kids on the park just ignored him, played with him, or laughed at him, but I cringe inside when he's trying to get kids to play. I think it's weird the way he acts because we're not around other kids his age. The kids we know all have very different personalities from Noah. Then again, I'm not a boy and never was good at playing with other kids either. Maybe I'm just being too sensitive about how he plays with other kids. Maybe as he gets closer to 4 & 5 his social skills will improve. He'll likely have started preschool or daycare part time by then.
Sometimes I wonder if daycare would be better for Noah. He is SO social and loves interacting with people. I feel like having him here with me isn't doing him any good. He could be doing fun crafts, and learning, and playing outside every day. I know it's not the same as my caring for him, but I'm just second guessing myself lately. I wonder if we're driving each other crazy being together all the time. It's not the same as being a stay at home mom & having him home with me is making me feel bad. I just wonder if he needs more than just me to help him grow into a well-rounded little boy. I just don't want 'the talk' from his teacher in kindergarten telling me that my son is a 'great kid but a little rambunctious' aka a terror to other kids. Paying for daycare means getting a job out of the home. In this market, I think it'll be a little longer before that happens. Ah, parenthood, full of guilt out of love for our kids. It's a wonderful thing.