Monday, 27 April 2009

If you knew Charlie...

"Dossing around at home all day and playing." That's my job. That, and changing the odd nappy. Oh, and writing the (decidedly) odd book. And spending all day with my son you'd think I'd know him really well. I thought I did. Still do. I've seen him tired, grumpy, happy, hungry, lively and the rest of Snow White's small companions. I've cleaned the sick and changed the messy sheets; I've held his little arms and legs while the nurse stuck a frighteningly large-looking needle in his thigh; I've followed him up the slide and down the steps and round on all fours on the floor. I've seen how he behaves in almost every situation.
But I've been taken by surprise. Yasmin and her mum stopped by the other day, prior to a visit to the park. As Sarah went to make some tea with Yasmin's mum, I sat in the living room with Charlie and Yasmin. At kid's club on a Wednesday morning, Charlie's only interaction with the other children is to stop and stare, or pout when someone takes the toy that he's been playing with, or to steal their food when they're not looking. He doesn't 'play' with other children yet. He's too young. On Saturday his toys were scattered all over the floor as usual following a morning's high-octane Charlie play-activity. I sat back expecting him to rummage round for something, play with it for a minute then move on to something else. That's the usual pattern. So I started looking for something Yasmin might find amusing while her mum was in the kitchen. But I was elbowed aside as Charlie suddenly transformed himself into a jealous toy-shop salesman desperate to secure a sale. He spent the next few minutes showing Yasmin all his toys in turn and looking slightly flushed as she turned down each successive offering. I think she was bemused by the attention. "If madam doesn't like the lego bricks, perhaps the musical box would be of interest? Look it plays three different tunes? No? Well how about the train-set then? Or cars? No? Ok, my piece-de-resistance - I present... the Ninky-Nonk!"
I can't remember whether anything did the job. It was just so amusing watching my young man try so, so hard to impress an even-younger lady! But it all became too much for Yasmin, who suddenly noticed that her mum was missing. And when she started crying, Charlie suddenly stopped in his tracks, concerned and confused. For a moment I thought he was about to cry himself. But then he reached across and put his little hand on Yasmin's arm to comfort her. He bent down low to look into her face and smile. And it was me who ended up with tears in my eyes!

23 comments:

  1. I've witnessed the offering of toys behaviour pattern several times. I'm amazed I didn't wonder at the bizarreness (is that a real word?) of it, or at the fact that it seems to be a behaviour pattern tried out by most little 'uns...

    When your offspring offers compassion to another, that's when you know that you've been offering a good role model. You just saw a rather small mirror image of yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  2. How incredibly sweet! And I think Robert (above) is right....this has a lot o say about the role model he has in front of him all day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a lovely scene. Your lad is an excellent salesman - the hard-sell technique didn't work so he immediately switched to the soft-sell, big smile strategy. Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That was the first time I'd seen Charlie do it, Robert. What was interesting was the level as commitment. As DD says - he's got a great career in sales ahead of him. (And I'm not sure about modelling that kind of behaviour, Sue!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think Charlie is so sweet! Most little ones seem to get so protective and don't want to share :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awww! What a lovely post. He sounds like a little sweetie.

    When I saw my 11-month-old nephew a couple of weeks ago, he kept offering his toys to people but if any of us leaned forward to take the toy, he would grin cheekily and take it back.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is the loveliest thing in the world when you see your children care for another - or each other (perhaps rarer, given screams of 'that's mine'...) It gives great assurance that we as parents must be doing something right.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Setting himself to break hearts already, huh? good man! heh heh

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've never seen him behave like that before, AM, which is why it was so remarkable. And he really went for it, too - no half-measures!

    That's one of Charlie's favourite tricks as well, Liz. Obviously Yasmin's something special!!

    Well, that's a nice way of looking at it Catharine. I sometimes think my kids behave in spite of me, however...

    Well, faint heart never won fair lady, Mal. He's starting young!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a lovely little gent you've got, Tim! My neighbour's little boy starts screaming whenever he sees a girl, not to mention if she dares to approach his toys! Ciao. A.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Priceless scene. Children have a knack of making the grown ups weep!

    CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Its so strange when you see another side of them. Remember my boy when he was a bit older than Charlie becoming really bossy and protective to some little girl. Its like you're seeing them for the first time.

    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  13. It just did with me too, Tim! xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. We'll be buying him a bowler-hat and furled umbrella next, Antonella!

    They sure do, but on this ocasion it was tears of joy, CJ.

    Well, I'd never seen anything quite like it before, Jenny, so - yes, it was a revelation.

    As it was for you, Katy...

    I'm not going to argue with either of those sentiments, NB and Kitty. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Bless! In my time, it's usually been watching in horror as the child hit an even younger baby over the head with something!

    ReplyDelete
  16. He's so dear, but you may want to have a talk with him about high maintenence women.

    ReplyDelete
  17. That has happened, Expat Mum, but not on this occasion (thankfully!)...

    Or have a little chat about not overwhelming them, maybe Z&T?

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a beautiful tale, and he's going to be knock out with the ladies.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Aaah. That is just too cute. I almost feel proud on your behalf!! Well done to both of you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well, he's certainly going to be attentive if last Saturday is anything to go by, SPD.

    Thanks, Sub. It is.

    And thanks, too, MT. You can feel a little of our pride if you want to...

    ReplyDelete

Your comment is important to us. Please hold...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Get in touch

Name

Email *

Message *