To The Other Mothers:
My baby’s first playmate and friend was a physical therapist. I have grown accustomed to being the one to play with my little girl instead of watching her perched on the sidelines.
Despite interest in her peers, the playground social scene is not easy for Charlie. She is tiny for her age, doesn’t walk yet, and is lagging far behind in speech. Therefore, she is mistaken for a baby and often ignored or climbed over.
This is where I step in. While other moms sit and talk to one another or engage with their phones, I’m squeezing onto platforms that are way too small for me and sitting in the midst of bouncing toddlers to help my little one play.
However, occasionally, there are days like today.
Another kid sees my little girl and includes her in the chase. Or, a bigger kid will help her up a climb or encourage her to try. Sometimes, they teach her how to eat pretzels or build with blocks.
You may not notice your kids doing these things but I do. Your kids teach her things in a few minutes that the therapists and I have been trying to teach her for weeks. Her eyes beam, her face lights up, and it makes her day. I get to sit back with the other moms and feel a little bit of “normal”… which is rare in my world. When we go home, she tries new skills that she saw your kids model and she gets a little bit braver.
I appreciate you asking if it is alright for your kids to play with “my baby”. I want you to know that it is more than OK, it is what I hope for when I bring her out to play. I wonder, do you know how much it means to us?
Another little girl used hand over hand to teach Charlie how to play with the blocks. After the girl left, Charlie was able to do it on her own.