Mini has taken up a new hobby – people watching. Well, strictly speaking it’s not a new hobby since she’s been doing it pretty much since she was born, but it’s certainly one she’s pursuing with a single-mindedness that is a little unnerving.
I know all children are natural people-watchers, after all, it’s how they learn. But Mini seems to be taking it to new heights. She’s two and a half now and by this age Motormouth was more interested in talking and taking things apart. Mini is the quiet one, just absorbing everything and listening.
And of course, watching.
Motormouth still asks why people do things, usually at the top of his voice when everything, and I mean everything, else is quiet.
Like “why has that man pushed in front of us in the queue?”
“Why is that woman making us walk through smoke by standing in the shop doorway with her cigarette?”
Don’t you just love children not having the same filters as us?
It sums them up really, Motormouth the talker and Mini the watcher.
Speaking of which, she has so much more freedom to watch people more closely now she’s mobile.
And she’s fascinated by emotions.
Which is why, the other day, she went and stood by someone else’s table when we were at a restaurant.
Did she want to go to the play area with Motormouth?
The seven year old having a meltdown was much more interesting.
Despite our best efforts she kept returning to the table to stand and watch with a quizzical look on her face. Every so often she would look back at us, point to the screaming, tearful boy and say “look”, just in case we were missing the event. She was genuinely fascinated by the whole thing.
The poor mother, I did try and send her fellow-mother vibes that we understood and that we’ve had our own public displays of unhappiness from noisy children to deal with,, but I think she was a bit too distracted to notice.
I can see why Mini was so intrigued by the screaming boy though. In our house tantrums are just as common as any other abode with children under the age of… oh… twenty five or so… but they tend to be short-lived. It’s rare that we get a sustained bout of hysterical screaming.
Mini cries when she shuts her fingers in something or someone tells her no. She really, really hates that word. Motormouth cries, well, at everything else. (I have checked the books on that and apparently it’s normal.)
I hope Mini never loses that interest in what others are thinking or experiencing and that she can use that to become more empathetic and tolerant towards others.
In the meantime I think I’ll have to settle for trying to get her to be more subtle during her observations.