We had a second birthday party for the girls this past weekend (birthday is tomorrow-post to come). Jenn and I were persona non grata to them. For the entire party, they happily played and entertained the crowd. They didn't give us the time of day. We didn't even get a family photo!
I didn't take the party shunning personally. I was happy that they were happy and comfortable. But, I am also number 1 in their eyes 98% of the time. They want to be with me when they're hungry or tired or hurt and most times in between. I have been pushed away by them less than five times in the last two years. Being number 1 isn't always sunshine and roses, especially when I see them push someone close to them away. It's hard not to feel a little bit hurt.
Most people don't take this personally or try hard to remind themselves not to take it personally. The under 2 crowd, especially, is unpredictable. I know that it gets to some people when the girls don't give them any attention, refuse to hug/kiss them or cry when they try to pick them up. I have to remind myself that it isn't personal and that toddlers live in the moment. They don't understand social etiquette yet either (although they've got 'please' down pat!).
In every baby and toddlers defence, it might not always feel great to be pushed into someone's arms or be told to hug someone they don't know well. I compare young children to dogs quite often. If you're a dog owner, you've probably heard people say, let the dog come to you, don't go to the dog. Same goes for toddlers. Over the last two years, the people who they've taken to quickly have left them alone but come down to their level. They don't force themselves or try too hard. At 16 months old, they met my cousin Ben, from New Zealand, for the very first time. Within five minutes, the girls were sitting in his lap playing with toys and giggling away. Ben did nothing but sit on the floor.
How do you handle your kids shunning people? Have you ever taken it personally?