Adam is now 4. For the first time today in nursery I saw the evidence of the horrid sort of playground antics children are so famous for.
I dropped the boys off. Luke trotted in to his class quite happily and was last seen being embraced by 3 different girls and trying to look cool (my son, the heart throb - really must make sure he grows up to be nice to girls).
Adam also trotted in quite happily and perked up even more when he saw that his best friend in his class, Aid, was there today. He rushed over and went to sit next to Aid. Aid put his hand out and shooed Adam away. I last saw Adam with a wounded expression, sitting on his own, rejection flowing from every slumped shoulder, hands on chin and his back towards the rest of the class stance.
Resisting every bone in my body that said 'get in there, give that Aid a good talking to and make him let Adam sit next to him' which would obviously do no good at all, I had a quick word with the teacher and then left.
I've been thinking about him all morning. Children can be ever so nasty, and as parents the best we can do is to help them to deal with it. The additional dollop of guilt for me comes because I worry that he is being shunned because he doesn't speak Bosnian and the children are getting bored of his attempts to learn. So Adam not only has to deal with learning about playground shenanigans, but he has to do it in another language and culture. He is a shy and sensitive boy in any culture and every now and then I get a real glimpse of how hard our Bosnian adventure must be for him.
Anyway, 10 mintues to go before I go and pick them up. I'm hoping hoping hoping that everything will have been forgotten, Adam and Aid will have had a terrific time playing spiderman outside, laughing and shouting and that noone except me will even remember the way the morning started.
After three hours of maternal fretting, I arrived to find Adam laughing, racing around and obviously having a whale of a time, utterly oblivous to the guilt ridden angsty mother who'd spent the morning chewing her nails, occasionally a bit teary and questioning what we are doing here. He and Aid had been best friends from about 10 minutes after I left.
Children. They have no idea of how much their parents worry about them. I'm making a mental note to say a big thank you (and apologise) to my own mother for anything similar I put her through in the past.