Who is having fun?
Monkey no2 - Lucius is 8 years old. He is playing with monkey no4 - sky who is 1½. Lucius is making an extraordinary attempt at entertaining his little sister. His pulling out all the stops. His enthusiasm is driving every conceivable idea to get -& -keep her attention. This episode reaches boiling point every 60 seconds. Lucius cannot discern whether her screaming means..."I want more please"...or "Shut the F@#%$ up"! So he gladly continues to be a clown & have fun...
As I walk in the room it is clear that Sky is exhausted & frustrated. Lucius thinks this party is awesome! She is giving him enthusiastic feedback & he's rolling with it. Heeeehaaa ! With a gentle nudge I get the two separated & got no4 to calm down with her bottle & a story...however my son is perplexed. So I invite him for a coffee. I asked...: "So who do you think was having fun in there prince? He said: "It was brilliant, did you see how exited she was"...I knew then this was a 4 espresso conversation...
Just because I am having fun right now...doesn't mean that every one else around me is having fun as well. Just because I cannot seem to get enough of this activity doesn't mean that my friend has an equal capacity for this.
Being able to read some ones non-verbal communication is an extreme skill that make or break relations. Not all people are very comfortable telling you straight how they feel. The less inclined they are to verbally talk to you...the more their body language is trying to scream their message, in the hope that you would be considerate and save the situation from potential conflict. It is extremely hard for any one that is overwhelmed with excitement, to entertain the idea that there might be some one next to you that has a much smaller or zero interest in what we are staring at or busy with. If I stare at a motorcycle....there is no part of me that can possibly conceive of the notion that you are not as close to tears as I am right now!!! What do you not understand....just look at it!
But if you ask me what grown-up can jump the furthest in a sandpit...you lost me...
We all get carried away by something that excite us that we cannot explain. It is hard work to find some one that can truly resonate your excitement or enthusiasm for some thing. It is often a negative experience when the person next to you cannot connect with you on that level of passion or play. It can be very disappointing in fact. Here is where our kids need to learn & figure out how much of themselves they can apply appropriately in a context where their passions are not presently appreciated or starred at by blank friends.
If some one on the receiving end of you is truly important to you...I think it is relevant to make sure they are also having a good time @ the same time & for as long as you are. Its a delicate dance of give & take...share & receive...test & try again. Our kids cannot always abandon every one that stare at them like a paving brick when their excitement overwhelms them. They need to learn to find the common ground & mange it.
Life with siblings can truly be a very practical testing ground for our babies social development.
Time together as a family is ultimately what we all want...isn't it? Find that magic-carpet that we all like to sit on & have fun together.