I’ve never thought of N as a particularly emotional child. He likes lots of hugs and kisses (licky, slurpy ones – although he doesn’t get the licking part thankfully, he just makes a slurping sound near your face!). But he’s never really shown much concern over other children around him if they’re upset or doing something different.
If he does something naughty that he’s been warned about, he’s quite often ready for ‘the voice’ and the ‘telling off’, and I won’t be able to actually get any words out before he’s hiding his face so he can’t look at me, quite often cuddling to me. It makes it really hard to tell him off as it’s like he knows he might have done something wrong. Impressive given I’ve not really had many incidents that has warranted a proper telling off.
But he is a little unaware of what others are doing around him when he’s on a play mission, especially if it involves playground, toys or vehicles.
I went to pick him up from nursery the other day, where they’re generally all scooting around the play area like loonatics while parents veer in and out to pick out the correct child to take home. I usually find N pedalling a trike like a nutter, usually not really watching where he’s going, so I’m surprised there aren’t more accidents with around 10 toddlers all doing the same thing.
But the other day he was trying to drag me to the gate while I was finishing my chat with his key worker, we said hello and he pulled back, turning round and straight into the path of another slightly younger toddler heading in our direction. It was one of those situations where you can see the crash about to happen and just freeze in the hope the collision gets knocked off course somehow.
N seeming huge compared to the other little boy went body slamming straight into him, keeping on his feet, but knocking the other boy straight over. Luckily, he didn’t seem to fall very hard and his hands went down first, so no injuries apart from a bit of shock and some crying.
Well, N went into ‘pick me up’ mode, virtually climbing up my legs, and hiding his face like he does when he’s going to be told off. Cue the nursery staff member cuddling the other child and at the same time trying to reassure N that it was an accident, with me doing the same. Even once the other child had stopped crying, N was still not too keen to be put down.
It seems N might be more sensitive than I previously thought. It turns out that quite often N hands toys over to upset children, or goes to check they’re ok after they’ve had a bump. So he must have been traumatised that he’d caused an accident rather than thinking he was going to be told off. Very cute, hopefully he’ll keep his empathetic side as he gets older.
How do your children react when others are hurt?