I’m not good with kids. Since I stopped being one I’ve been a little afraid of them. I don’t hold other people’s babies. The last baby I held before my own was born was my now 15 year old niece. Hers was also the only real diaper I ever changed. I babysat a total of (I think) three times.
My feelings about other people’s children didn’t really change when I had a newborn. Scary. Don’t know how to talk to them, don’t know how to play with them, don’t know how to interact with them in any real way.
When we started to play dates I would be very happy when my daughter interacted at all with her peers, but I was still very nervous around them.
As all our kids grow up I’m discovering something interesting: I love my friends’ kids. They make me smile. They’re nice, playful, smart kids.
Watching other little girls grab my daughter’s hand or give her a hug makes me incredibly happy. At one house I went downstairs to tell the kid she had ten more minutes and three of them were sitting together making music with different instruments.
She’s tentative when we arrive, but never wants to leave, and it’s getting better all the time.
We were at the park last week and as soon as she was told where a friend was she ran off and didn’t look back – and she shared her snack. Yesterday we went to another friend’s cottage and she was all about running around with the kids, swimming with them, hanging out.
Today we went out for breakfast and play with other friends and I held a baby with no fear.
My kid? She’s a cool kid, and now she’s got a cool group of friends, and I get to hang with their parents.