bouncy bouncy bouncy, too bouncy

Just before Thanksgiving I made my first real mommy friend in the neighborhood (we moved her over the summer). Her baby is 2.5, nearly a year older than K. Even though the mother is very laid back and seems thoughtful, baby G positively vibrates with energy. K and I have a running joke about G. I make my finger go up and down and say “bouncy bouncy bouncy.” But to be honest, it goes a bit farther than that. Once in a while baby G will get a look in her eyes that there’s no way to describe other than mean.

I’ve never seen her give K that look, and she has also displayed some lovely gestures of generosity and friendliness to K. G seems to have the most problems when she feels like her things are going to be taken away. Our best interactions have been when I’ve been able to reassure her that K isn’t going to take anything. At one point, she spontaneously offered K her crackers, but only after I reassured her that we weren’t going to take them. So I don’t want to overdo it. But I am uneasy with her.

So here’s the dilemma: I like having a mommy friend who lives a block away, and I like having K making friends with an older girl. But I’m worried that the influence is negative. Part of me feels like I’m overreacting to toddler things, but another part has protective parent instincts flashing red. Ko thinks its a given that we need to keep our play dates to a minimum, and I’m sure she’s right, but it does give me a pretty bitter taste of what things might be like in a year or so. The simply truth is I think G is more the rule than the exception.

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