With my little girl turning three yesterday, we were in celebratory mode. It gave me plenty of reasons to be cheerful.
We went to the zoo. This was the first proper day out since my once reluctant potty trainee decided that wearing big girl pants was actually much nicer than nappies. I took several changes of clothes in case of accidents but I needn't have worried. She coped brilliantly with the zoo toilets without any mishaps. She also announced recently in her little sing song voice that she would "Never wear nappies again". Since then she been nappy free in bed and enjoying dry nights. Now she wants to give her potty collection to her brother because potties are for babies and she's a big girl.
My little girl does not have very much interaction with children her own age. At the zoo, she was playing on a wooden climbing frame house by herself. When other children came to play she looked very shy and timid and uncertain. She was interested in two children who were eating ice lollies (I am guessing that it was the lollies more than the children that demanded her attention). When they said hello to her she looked very shocked but then as I watched I could see her thinking and working it all out. These were children just like her and she could communicate with them and they could be playmates. She practically pounced on the next child to join her on the apparatus. She followed their every move and maintained constant eye contact. Eventually they broke the silence and started chatting. As children moved on and new children arrived I could see her confidence growing. Most of the other children were older than her. She was not intimidated by the fact that some were boisterous and loud and she was unconcerned by sex or skin colour. Each child was a potential friend. Some were more communicative than others and it was beautiful to watch my little girl growing into a social creature and developing the skills to make friends.
On the way to the zoo and at certain points going around the zoo, the birthday girl told us that she was going to hold a chicken. Quite where she'd got this notion from I don't know but sure enough, there was a petting farm and there was indeed an opportunity to hold a little chick. She sat there very matter of fact cradling the tiny bird, stroking it gently with her thumbs and telling the zoo keeper that it was soft and cute and small.
You know you've had a good day out when...