The other day, we took Kai to Bubi’s blocks, a playpen with so many blocks for kids to play. We haven’t visited the mall in weeks and we just thought of bringing the little booger there. In just a matter of minutes, I already witnessed the antisocial and territorial Kai and things got bad when one little girl came up to him and tried to snatch a piece of the toy block.
He shouted, “No!” and said, “I don’t no like baby.” I’m pretty sure that what he meant was that he didn’t want to share with the kid or that he doesn’t want to play with her. It became worse when this little boy, much younger than him, went up to him and “hit” him.
And there it was. I saw that look on his face when he’s being reprimanded. The teary-eyed look. The look he gives when he tries so hard not to cry. He did manage not to shed a tear while telling me over and over again, “I don’t like baby.”
Then his time at the playhouse was up. He refused to leave. I got out hoping he would follow but he just didn’t. And then it happened. That little boy from earlier came running towards him and Kai frantically avoided him. He then screamed and cried.
I got back inside and took him out and then he just continued crying, mumbling that he doesn’t like the baby and that he was scared.
I thought it was funny because my antisocial boy got scared of someone much younger than him. I asked him why he cried and he told me that he’s scared of the baby because he “hit” him. That other boy looks like he recently turned one and couldn’t walk properly just yet, so no, he didn’t hit Kai. He may have attempted to but he lost his balance and so his hands landed on my boy. Kai, however, got offended.
While we were walking away from the playhouse, I told him not to be scared of the baby because the baby doesn’t know what he’s doing. It was like talking to an adult. My boy just listened.
I worried a bit since I’ve observed that he’s being territorial these days. Apart from not sharing toys, he wouldn’t want another kid sitting on his high chair. I thought that maybe we didn’t let him socialize enough. I don’t have anyone I could ask about this behavior but I remembered my mom told me that kids around Kai’s age usually don’t socialize well. There’s that “It’s mine” declaration phase or refusal to share.
And Parents magazine made it clear. Two-year-old kids will start to engage with other kids but will still prefer Mom and Dad (mostly Mom) as their playmates. That’s not to say Kai doesn’t ever socialize. It’s just that he can be selective around kids in a playhouse. He is, however, super friendly around mall guards and cashiers.
At this point, we, as his parents, should serve as a model for sharing with and showing interest in others. Our kid’s also about to attend preschool so that would be a start for socializing. I can’t wait for that next adventure. In the meantime, I’ll let my kid be a kid and he can be antisocial and territorial as long as he pleases.