We were invited by new friends over to dinner this evening. They have teenagers. I took a short break from our after dinner discussion to check on Elena, and was not surprised to find her in the living room wrestling with the teenagers. She also enjoyed their two mini schnauzers, especially when they were comfortable enough to
sit in her lap.
Last weekend we visited my parents for dinner, and the highlight of Elena’s trip was energetic playtime with her grandpa. She would run up at full speed and almost throw herself at him. He lifted her high above his head, or pulled her in sideways, or just tickled her. After a while they both started to cough from the exertion (Elena was still getting over a cold; I don’t know whether the same was true for my father) and I had to intervene–if I hadn’t encouraged them to take a break, they would have kept going.
A week before that, we had the pleasure of a visit from Elena’s cousins Kaitlyn and Micah, along with their father. Kaitlyn is almost seven years old, but she wasn’t necessarily used to Elena’s style of play, and lodged several complaints about being pushed. Kaitlyn is very polite; she always prefaces her requests with “excuse me” and then explains the perceived grievance. After that, we had to decide whether to intervene and how to mediate. Sometimes she had a good point and Elena spent an age-appropriate amount of time–about two minutes–in a secure time out location. Other times I had seen what happened and decided that no disciplinary action was required. In those cases, Kaitlyn accepted my explanation.
We had lots of fun with the cousins, as it was the first time that we’ve spent significant time with them since we moved here. The weather was warm enough for a trip to the park, where we discovered that not all the Canada geese had migrated further south, and that ducks look pretty funny when they try to walk on ice. As usual, Elena enjoyed the slides and swings, while Kaitlyn and Micah seemed to focus more on the climbing areas and pretend play sections.
Another highlight was our big pizza dinner. The kids didn’t eat very much, but they did have a great time to making it. I don’t know why they didn’t eat very much–it was pizza, which kids are supposed to love, and good pizza at that! In any case, our visit with the cousins was all too short. Elena cried when they left and we wouldn’t let her go with them. We hope to see them again soon, but in the meantime at least we get to have their dad visit us on a regular basis.