Do Kids Affect Kids?

I felt like an historical southern lady yesterday. We had visitors in the morning, then a nap, then visitors in the afternoon.  I didn’t serve any tea though.

The twins and I ran into one of our neighbors around 10:30 a.m. She has a little girl just two months older than the twins, who wanted to come and play.  Only, she didn’t.  She played with the babies’ toys, but she didn’t play with the babies.  I chalk this up to kids being still too young to really interact positively with each other.  My kids play with each other constantly, giving me the false sense that they are socialized. But, in reality, it takes them some time to warm up to strange children.  Still, with guidance from me, they were open to sharing with their new friend and tried to engage her here and there.

Still, it was two against one.  I completely understand the little girl’s shyness.  Her mother and I talked quietly about our lives. The girl usually goes to daycare, but the mom was off that day and kept her home.  The babies were sitting on my lap at that point, watching the girl play with their puzzles over the arm of the chair.  They were fascinated because she was actually trying to put the puzzles back together – something they haven’t yet thought about.

All of a sudden, the girl looked up at my kids and said loudly, “Get out of my face!”

Shocked silence.

I felt bad for the mom, who scrambled to have her daughter apologize (which she didn’t).  It’s hard for me to gauge what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate, since the twins hardly ever have playdates (something I’m trying to remedy).  The mom was so embarrassed, but she shouldn’t have been.  Little kids are little kids. They pick up sayings in random places, and they’re still trying to place where they can say certain things and express certain emotions.  It was more than clear that the girl was good natured, she was just shy and protective of the toys she was playing with.

That being said, I hope I don’t hear “get out of my face!” from either of the twins in the near future.  Do kids pick up behaviors and language from other kids?  I know the answer is yes, but do they do it after only one time?

It’s hard to walk into a home with ready-made playmates and feel comfortable.  My twins have unspoken rules to games they made up a year ago. When another child doesn’t understand the rules or how to take turns in a way the twins deem acceptable, they get upset.  For instance, while Natalina knows that the orange ball is Dulce’s, and Dulce knows that the yellow ball is Natalina’s, a stranger isn’t going to know that or understand why she can’t touch the orange or yellow ball but touching the purple ball is fine.

All in all, I think it was a really good experience, and I hope to do it again.  For those of you that manage playdates on the regular, how do you socialize the kids effectively?  I find the twins do much better with my friend’s child, a boy a few months younger than them.  He came over in the afternoon, and they all colored and played with blocks as a happy three-baby unit.  They also got some good tickling!

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About parentwin

Parent of twins, blogger, writer and journalist. I write things. Sometimes people even read them.
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