|Advice I wish someone had given me when I was four
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
Humuhumu went to a birthday party this weekend. The lad who invited her had invited no other girls his age.
Two enormous bouncy castles were involved, as were a number of balls. I showed Humuhumu how to dribble and how to shoot at the hoops, and whilst we were practising, a bunch of the boys joined us. She could throw the ball higher than all apart from one boy who appeared to be about six years old (the rest were between four and five).
Then we invented a game with one of the softer balls. I stood on the outside of the bouncy castle, Humuhumu on the inside, and we threw the ball back and forth to one another over the wall. Very soon, three or four boys wanted to join in, and it all got a bit rough. Humuhumu was upset at being bowled over, so we stopped.
"That boy pushed me over when I was trying to get the ball," she wailed.
"The boys are all over-excited," I replied, cuddling her. "Don't wait for them to apologise; they won't think of it. Ignore them and focus on yourself, and grab the ball whenever you can. Okay?"
She nodded, sniffed, and got back into the bouncy castle. She took my advice completely to heart and had a grand time.
Later, we were all sat at a table after lunch. It was time for cake and the birthday boy was recovering from his third or fourth meltdown. Humuhumu lounged on my lap, placidly consuming her cake, whilst all around us the screaming rose up in waves. Other parents tapped me on the shoulder and informed me that my daughter was the most chilled-out child in the world.
"Yes," I replied, trying not to sound too smug and probably failing, "I know."
[No Limits: Humuhumu jumping off a bridge over the canal onto the towpath.]
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