Wednesday, June 07, 2006

When She Hisses That Means She Likes You

It was another rainy day so I got together with a good friend of mine and her son. The kids and I played for a bit at her house, then made our way over to the local library where we were planning to meet up with my friend's friend and her daughter who is about 9 months younger than Sofia. The Loaf has never really spent much time with other little girls. She has two girl cousins who live in Ohio and we don't get to see them much. The rest are boy cousins and my friends all have boys, so Sofia is just used to boys in general. While she has no problem keeping up with the big guys, I often think it would be nice for her to have a little girl about her own age to play with. This seemed like a good opportunity for her to make a new friend and she's so easy going that I thought for sure they would hit it off great.

So we're all reading stories and having snacks and the three kids are romping about having fun when in walks my friend's friend and her adorable daughter. We all start chatting and her daughter toddles over to the crate of board books and brings me one, and then another and another, until I've got a heaping pile and I begin to read to her from one and she's making toddler talk and smiling at me with these huge, brown eyes and then I turn to Sofia, about to ask her if she'd like to sit on my lap while we read with her new friend when I noticed that she was staring at this little girl with an intensity that suggested she might be putting an evil hex on her. Her head was cocked to one side, eyes fixated, her mouth drawn down in a sour, sneer of disdain. My stomach lurched. Hmm...this can't be good.

"Hey, honey, are you okay?" I try to slip my arm around her waist but she pulls away and just kind of grunts at me. "Don't you want to read a's 'Kipper'!" Again, more pulling away and a firm "No" from her.

Meanwhile the little girl is paying no mind and she's investigating the library while talking to other little kids and checking out the busy beads. Sofia's watching her the whole time, like a cheeta eyeing a gazelle. I begin apologizing to her mom who is like, "oh, don't worry about it" and I'm like, "oh but she's not usually like this" which is completely true and I don't know where it's all coming from. Sofia then moved on to the busy beads and the other girl reached up toward the same bead Sofia was holding and Sofia did some sort of air swat thing at her face, somehow never actually hitting her. Kind of like a cat warning a small child to "STEP OFF!" after it had been poked one too many times. I was horrified. I've never seen her do that to anyone, except me once or twice when she was very angry, but even then you could tell she'd felt badly the second she did it. Not this time. The little girl tried to make another grab and Sofia gave her several "air swats" right at her nose, stirring up a lot of wind, but managing not to actually make contact. I could almost see her thinking, "You know, I don't have to miss..."

Well, it just kind of went downhill from there and she had a bit of an outburst and just began crying and she couldn't seem to verbalize what was wrong but I think that's because she really didn't know how to describe this kind of feeling. Could have been a combination of shyness and a little jealousy. Whatever the reason, I think she'll get over it in time and we'll be able to forge a friendship with the little girl and her mom.

Or we'll just be known around town as that mom and her red-headed "devil spawn".

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