Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tales of the Playground

I've been taking the boys to the playground a lot lately. The school and day care are located right next to it, and the school kids use the playground during recess. There is also a fenced-in area where the day care kids play when they are outside. I've had a lot of trouble finding any other women who don't work and have little kids here, so we can't do play dates. However, the two Bahamian women who run the day care are fantastic and don't mind if we come play during their outside time. So, we go, and I help keep an eye on the kids while the boys get some friend-time. It's good for all three of us, I think.

The older kids have a recess while the day care kids are outside. They aren't allowed inside the fence, but play on the equipment next to it. They are amazingly respectful and solicitous of the little guys, and I've never witnessed any problems between them.

For some reason, several of the kids a few years older than Wyatt have taken a real shine to Oscar. This happened soon after we moved here. Every time we were out, it seemed some of the kids, none of which we knew by name, would call to him by name. I realize he's adorable and completely hilarious the way he'll go around carrying on quite developed conversations with anyone he sees (he used the word "episode" tonight to request a DVD with Curious George recorded on it), but I would have expected the adults to latch onto him more. It's the kids, though, who seem most taken with his little two year old self.

Yesterday, while playing with the day care kids, Oscar decided he wanted to go on the big equipment. I let him walk over there, but stayed by the fence to keep the other kids from following. I had looked away for a minute, then looked back to see him picking something out of the sand. Horrified, I saw him stick his hand inside it, pull something out, then put it into his mouth. I raced over there, calling his name as I went.

When I got there, I pulled whatever it was out of his hand, and asked him what he was eating. He just stared up at me, but a little boy who looked about seven told me he had given him the last of his M&M cookies. Apparently, he had dropped the bag, and I looked right as he picked it back up. So, I smiled at that point, trying to assure him I wasn't mad about it as it was truly sweet of him.

In truth, I would have much rather been asked, but the kid was all of seven or eight, so not a biggie. I do consider processed cookies poison, but I figured I'd save that little lecture for the grown ups who just hand my kids stuff without asking.

And what is the point of this entire story? Just to say how impressed I am with the other kids here. Wyatt was wrestling with a bunch of the older boys about a month ago while we were at a softball game (very big here). I was worried at first because they had been so rough with each other, but as soon as the little boys challenged them, they toned it right down, but in such a way that Wyatt and his friends had no clue. They thought they were winning. I'm really, really glad he has the opportunity to go to school here. I think it just may turn out to be the hardest thing we have to leave.

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