Child magnet / Pied Piper
As my tagline says, I’m not really a child person. Strange I hear you ask, given I have one, however it’s very different with children in your family and those you see frequently, seeing them grow up.
But bizarrely children seem to be like cats…they always go to people who aren’t keen on them.
Whenever we go to places where children congregate, we always seem to have random children coming over and hovering round by us, talking their random stuff at us.
When you’ve got a really small child, soft play quite frequently sees (little girls in our case) older children being drawn to them. N often had little girls a few years older coming over to hug him or talk to him while he was standing clinging on to the equipment. Now he’s older, the children appear to be attracted to me instead (maybe, because he’s off running somewhere else).
The last occasion saw us on the trampoline at Rugrats where there was an older child of about 4 bouncing. I thought it was a bit odd that other children of similar age to him were all on the other trampoline next door, but continued with N, helping him bounce. Then I realised why…the child then proceeded to bounce over, almost on top of us, and start doing monkey impressions. “I’m a monkey, you’re a monkey, I want you to be a monkey with me”. Err no child, I want to spend time with my son without some strange pre-schooler coming and talking to us about weird things. Thankfully, N doesn’t like to stick in one place too long, so we left the trampoline leaving the monkey child to the next mother and baby that was heading towards it.
The same week we went swimming in the local leisure centre pool. There’s a main pool (which on a Friday afternoon was virtually empty), and a smaller trainer pool which was busier. We got in and straightaway a girl in goggles swims over and starts talking.
I don’t do hanging around in pools, we have to keep on the move, but the trainer pool had the floor set at 75cm, so I had to kneel down which makes it hard to make an escape. Tried to turn round away from her but she just carried on, swimming round and talking away. “I’m 6 and I’ll show you what I can do, I can swim underwater”. She then proceeds to follow us while doing a surface dive as I’m trying to get N to ‘swim’ and kick.
I may be harsh, but in the end I just told her “we’ve come here to have a swim, not to spend it talking to people we don’t know. Maybe you should find your friends or family”. Of course, there was no-one around looking for her so I’ve no idea whether she’d just turned up on her own.
I’ve no idea why children seem to be attracted to me like the Pied Piper. I’m hoping that the older N gets, the more he’ll be able to do things on his own and therefore I won’t be in the environment where the children get so close as the parents are in ‘their’ areas.