Part of the joy of raising kids is discovering what kind of personality they have. The moment you think you know them, they surprise you. Recently, we feel like we have discovered a lot about who our little D'arcy is.
When we put D'arcy in preschool in August, we told ourselves that preschool would be an opportunity for her to scratch her social itch. We thought she would try to answer all of the questions, be the teacher's helper, or be tempted to spend class time socializing with other kids. She always seemed like such a outgoing person. She seems to make friends wherever she goes, from the Chik-fil-A playground to the airplane. We thought preschool would give her an opportunity to learn how to manage her social desires in a classroom setting.
Last week, we received D'arcy's mid-year progress report from school. This is what it said... Regarding Social Development the teacher made the following comment, "D'arcy mainly plays by herself. She is very choosy about her friends. She will say she has no one to play with but when someone asks her to play she usually says no!" Regarding Communication Behaviors the teacher made this comment, "D'arcy understands concepts learned in whole group and when called on, it is clear she can communicate her growth in learning, but she is moody and does not volunteer most information." Regarding Task-Related Behaviors the teacher said this, "Very successful fine motor development."
So, basically, she has no problem following direction and listening to the teacher. What she needs work on is being friendly and polite to people. The teacher has told me that the moodiness comes in when the class is doing some kind of group activity, and D'arcy will refuse to participate. She'll come home knowing the song they were singing because she sat quietly and watched, but she won't actually sing it in class. This isn't constant, but occurs frequently. She tells me that she simply gets tired and doesn't feel like participating.
We've asked her about her friends at school, and she will talk about some of her chosen favorites. For example, she told me today that she really likes a girl named Karina and has invited her to her 5th birthday party (which is still 7 months away). She then proceeded to tell me that Karina was playing with Ainsley today. We asked her if she played with both Karina and Ainsley, and she tells us that, no, Ainsley is not her friend and she will not play with her. Which leaves her to play by herself. She always gives a reason for someone not being her friend like he/she is mean to me or he is always getting into trouble.
None of this is necessarily bad, but just unexpected. We know that making friends and being polite are important in life, and so we are just trying to figure out how to coach her to be successful in light of her current inclinations. We still think she is probably an extrovert, but thrives in one-on-one situations instead of large groups.
On a different note, I've had the opportunity to observe D'arcy interact in a very sweet way with her little brother. She is extremely encouraging and helpful to him and sets him up for success. For example, the other day I asked Julian to let Begbie inside the house. He went to the back door and had trouble turning the knob. I was busy making lunch, and I asked D'arcy to go help him. She went to the back door and opened it just slightly, and then told Julian to try again. Julian went back to the door and was extremely excited when he opened it without trouble this time. D'arcy told him he did a great job.
On another occasion, D'arcy and Julian were sent into the living room to pick their toys up before lunch. D'arcy came back into the kitchen after several minutes and said, "Mom, Julian did a great job picking the toys up! I was watching TV, and he picked them all up by himself. Isn't that great?" Hmmmm.... Julian quickly followed into the kitchen and we both praised him for doing such a good job picking up the toys. D'arcy gave him a big hug. I was so tickled by D'arcy's encouragement of her brother that I didn't bring up the TV watching.
Lastly, I wanted to mention D'arcy's imaginary family. She now has a husband named John who she refers to as her sweetie and her honey. They have several children and pets together. He has to have room to sit pretty much wherever we go...in the car and even in her bed. I'll tuck her in and she'll mention that her husband is sleeping to the side of her. She has had imaginary friends in the past. I think I wrote a blog about C'mon who hasn't been around for over a year. We don't discourage this role playing, but really just find it interesting. We know that she is very maternal as she pretends to deliver a baby while taking her bath and has told Stephen and I that she wants to be a grown up so that she can be a Mommy.
All of these discoveries have been bouncing around in my head this last week, and I thought that I would share them with all of you. Ultimately, I am lucky to have a very loving and intelligent little girl who makes life very interesting.