Monday, September 12, 2011

Toddler at an older kids birthday party

Because Tristan is a toddler and almost 3 years old, we have mainly witnessed him around other toddlers or young children his age. There's daycare, story time at the library, and StrongStart at the school. We see him playing on his own and interacting with other kids and babies. We see all levels of development and kids are constantly on the move and have little attention span.

Yesterday, we went to my niece's 7th birthday party. Tristan has played with her many times and he has another cousin who is 4 years old. Many of the kids at the party were my niece's age since they were her friends from school. Tristan is turning 3 in November and was the youngest child at the party. Tristan mainly played by himself, as he usually does, but I noticed none of the older kids were interested in interacting with him either. The older kids played with each other and I guess it was because they all knew each other or are all around the same age.

As an observer from the outside, it was interesting to see how different 7 year old kids are compared to toddlers. The first word that comes to mind when I think about how they play together is "structured." The 7 year olds play very well together and have very structured play in that they play in sync with each other and move quickly. For example, a line up was formed to hit the pinata and when it was the older kids turn, they proceeded immediately after one another, without being prompted or guided to do so. When it came time to bring out the birthday cake, again everything happened so fast. There was no waiting and I even missed the photo shot of my niece blowing out her candles later on. The kids sang Happy Birthday first. Immediately after that they all sang a celebration song in French, something they learned in French immersion school. It was as though they had planned it all along but I know they didn't. They sang well together too and they were all in rhythm. I was impressed. Later a slip and slide was brought out for the water play and kids were sliding and throwing themselves on it one after the other. There was no break! I ended up taking 200 photos at the party, many of which were at the slip and slide. There was action every second! 7 year olds are fast and when they decide to do something, they don't hesitate. This of course all makes sense since as children grow older, they mature and become more like adults. After being around Tristan so much and seeing him with other toddlers and kids his age, I have only been thinking about toddler development. Until now. I was just wowed by the structured play and maturity of the 7 year old group.

Tristan will be 7 years old one day and will behave just like this. It's a crazy thought because he is still baby-like right now in so many ways. At 2.5 years old, he still eats in his highchair with a bib and we have to coach him along sometimes. He may or may not want to do something and it could take awhile for him to do it. He's indecisive, moody, and unpredictable. Okay, he's a toddler and there is just no comparison. Toddlers and 7 year olds are too different. But one day, he will be 7. Then 18 and before you know it they will move out and go to university. Crazy. And sad for us parents:(


Lisa said...

So sweet and cute post. Loved it. thanks for sharing. Between, your kid looks soooo sweet and cute. Loved the pic.

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Kindergarten Worksheets said...

Cute kids and lovely pictures.

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