All the Attention

2 May

The other day I wrote about RJ’s regression and how he has a tendency to act like his baby brother.

Not only does he want attention for his own good deeds and misdeeds, but he wants attention for what his brother is doing too. So he has to act like himself, then act like a baby.

As exhausting as that sounds, I’ve decided that it’s just not enough for RJ to get all the positive and negative attention from his immediate caregivers. No, he actually wants all the attention. From all the adults. Everywhere.

Jason came back from his weekly daddy/son playdate (with another daddy and his two kids) and told me that RJ only wanted to play with the daddy. He wouldn’t leave him alone!

This is a trend that I notice quite frequently:

My mom’s cousins dropped by for a visit but they could barely converse because RJ had to talk to them and show them stuff…

Mom friends and their children come over and RJ ignores the children to talk to the moms.

A child-free friend comes over for tea and RJ thinks she is there to play with him.

RJ thinks every random stranger on the bus/on the street/in a store is there to talk and answer his questions.

It’s great that he is able to converse so well with adults but it gets a little tiresome. It’s difficult to convince Rj to play by himself or with other kids. RJ enjoys kids in small doses (certain kids) but he gravitates towards older kids and adults. He wants to socialize with a person who can listen to what he’s saying and respond appropriately. Despite the fact that they are normal children, RJ wants more.

And you know, it’s very cute to hear RJ conversing with our adult friends: he sounds like a little adult sometimes with the big words he uses. He has the ability to have a long and in-depth conversation, but he doesn’t have the maturity to realize or understand that it’s not always about him!

Not every adult will think he’s cute, nor will they indulge him. Even the most indulgent and child friendly person can’t always be conversing with the preschooler if there are other adults around.

I’ve seen and heard of other kids who preferred spending time with adults and those children were all ‘only children’ and weren’t given many opportunities to socialize with friends their own age. That isn’t RJ. He has a baby brother and I force him to interact with other children on a regular basis. Once his patience is used up, he drifts back to the “adult table.”

I don’t know if I should be pushing more or pushing less but the bottom line is, RJ is happiest (in a social setting) when being indulged by someone older than him. Is it a stage or will he always have this preference? Will he eventually prefer friends his own age as everybody’s communication abilities average out?

Time will tell.

But as of right now, I can tell one thing: being a precocious little cutie will only get you so far. After awhile the cute wears off and what’s left is a talkative little attention seeking three year old who doesn’t easily take no for an answer.

Go away, my adorable child. No one wants to talk to you right now.

Talk to me

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