Friday 16 September 2011

Toddlers and friends

(Goblin is 23 months)
Recently Goblin has started to enjoy the company of other children. He has two little friends that he has known since birth - Bubble and Squeak.   
I have always found it helpful to have other children the same age as Goblin, to observe. I use it as a gauge of where Goblin should be developmentally. But it has also taught me a lot about how differently children develop, and reminded me never to be too concerned if Goblin isn't at the same place at exactly the same time, because it all seems to even itself out within a few months.

 I was lucky enough to meet Bubble and Squeak's mums at a local prenatal session and again at a post natal parenting class. We saw loads of each other while we were all on maternity leave, but now we are all back at work part time the boys only see each other about once a fortnight. But when they do they get really excited, shouting each others names and running up to each other and waving in their faces. In fact when Goblin goes to the park these days he will shout for Bubble and Squeak even if we aren't due to meet up. 
This never used to be the case. When they were dinky (they are about 7 months old in the photo above) they would happily play in the same vicinity but they weren't really aware of each others presence. 

Once they were able to move about they used each other as levers to get up. But their interactions were mainly stealing toys off each other. 
Their personalities, and special skills started to emerge quite early on. Bubble is incredibly dexterous. He was putting plugs into sockets before he could even crawl. He can stack cups and blocks incredibly fast and accurately, and he has an aptitude for jigsaws. 
Squeak is the most timid of the boys. He was the last to develop his crawling and walking skills (although only by a few weeks, and he is the youngest). But he has been the fastest to talk.  His speech is incredible. He can sing nursery rhymes and talk in whole sentences. And what I find really mind blowing is how appropriately he uses language. 
I can't help thinking that he's been concentrating on that while Goblin has been focussing on tearing around the place at top speed. Goblin's skill is probably his confidence and curiosity. He is always the one who has wandered the furthest.  You can see Bubble and Squeak in the photo below but you can't see Goblin because he is so far away he is out of shot. 
Goblin's confidence does also mean he's quite often the ring leader in the mischief stakes. He usually manages to convince Bubble to join in, but Squeak is far too sensible (or scared!).

Watching the boys interact and develop their social skills is really interesting. They have a long way to go before they can share toys and not make each other cry, but I'm glad they are actually, from time to time, playing together rather than just along side. 

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