I must admit that I get a little worried sometimes that my daughter is going to wildly misbehave when she meets a new little friend. Am I the only one? It's not based in reality, as I know that there are going to be times when she just does not get along with another kid. There will be personality conflicts, there will be tantrums for any reason or no reason. All part of life and growing up. But I can't help noticing that my parenting is being judged on her behavior. Again, I dismiss it pretty much immediately, because it doesn't matter what other people think - pretty much every parenting decision I've ever made makes me a bad parent in someone's eyes. But it flits through my mind. I'm never going to let it get in the way of my daughter meeting new kids, that would be wrong. Especially because she is such a social little girl. She loves other kids, especially those who are smaller than she is. "Bay-beee!!"
In reality, we get a lot of compliments on our daughter's behavior. Which makes me feel a little funny too. I've always had to work at taking compliments graciously, especially if I don't feel like I did anything to earn them. We spent Saturday with a couple of dear friends and the one year old niece of one of those friends. The one year old is a sweet baby, very mobile and with her own mischievous twinkle. She has the sweetest dimpled smile! The two had a great time together - my daughter noticed how much the baby liked french fries and started feeding her my fries at dinner. My daughter also made quite an impression on the adults that she met for the first time that evening, and we've been invited to come back. Such a nice feeling!!
On Sunday, we started doing the legwork on yet another possible home improvement project. We are looking for a wood stove insert for our fireplace. (Hooray! The beauty of a wood fire without sucking all the heat out of the house and up the chimney!) My daughter does pretty well out and about in stores, but there are so many variables that go into it. Has she had her nap? Is she hungry? How restrictive do I have to be with wandering? How kid-friendly is the store/staff? I was actually surprised at how well this went, because I thought I would have to have her on lock down in a woodstove/fireplace showroom. Fortunately, there was only one unit that was lit in the area that we were in, and it was easy to keep her clear of it. They also had toys in store (though we had brought a few of our own just in case). Several members of the staff commented on how happy and patient she was. She was very good, though I hate that phrase, because I feel like it's used in inappropriate contexts, i.e. that people expect young children to be "good" even when their main form of communication is crying and body language. But I digress.
She had a great weekend, several fun outings despite rainy weather. I love fall, but at the same time am sad that summer is over. I am already getting nostalgic for warm days spent entirely outside!