I don’t know where he gets it. I’ve confessed my own social shortcomings in the past, and I’ll confess now that my husband’s social skills aren’t exactly to be envied either (although at least he gets out more). So that makes me wonder whether social skills fall under the “nature” or “nurture” category. Should it matter? Either way, PJ should have absolutely no understanding how to interact with other people, especially kids his own age.
Still, clearly he has an innate understanding of how to relate to others. For the first time in many months, today he played with someone that could be considered a peer (about five months older and probably 7-10 months more advanced), and he surprised me with his maturity in interacting with the other boy. He was a little touchy-feely at first, curious about the boy’s buttons on his shirt and his pacifier (PJ gave his up when he was about six months old). Then he settled down quickly. PJ was more eager to share with him than the boy was. That was a surprise; I expected him to be selfish, since he’s had no experience with sharing before. He watched the “big boy” carefully and learned his boundaries that way. He was content playing near him when the other boy wasn’t interested in playing together. It was something quite astounding to realize I may have to learn some of my social skills from my toddler.
We’re planning another big social milestone on Sunday: an hour in the church nursery. At PJ’s appointment on Monday, he was officially cleared for the nursery again as RSV season is over. Now that my morning sickness has tapered off, it’s definitely time to try church again. I’m curious to see how PJ does around all those other kids and without Mommy around this time. I have a sneaking suspicion he will be better about it than M or I will be. It’s a huge milestone for us as well, this socialization thing. I hope our desire for PJ to have social interaction will push us into new social situations like this; it will be as good for us as PJ. Maybe I’ll have to do a new Confession Thursday post soon about how I think my social anxiety has started to go away. The only way for that to happen is for me to push myself out of my comfort zone. I think PJ will be leading the way for me.