Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sadie and Strangers

When I was little I very carefully followed the "do not talk to strangers" rule.  Actually, I followed it so well, that when I was four years old, my Mom had to go back and re-explain the rule with a few exceptions.  

We were visiting my Aunt and cousins outside of Carson City, Nevada and we went to a hot spring to go swimming.  I was bouncing up and down with my cousin (who was a few months older than me) and I bounced my way to an area that was just a little bit too deep.  By the time I realized it was too deep I couldn't bounce back and when a man came over and asked if I needed help I shook my head no, before bobbing under the water again.  I was just barely able to get my mouth out of the water to take a breath, but I still insisted by shaking my head that I was okay.  Luckily, he decided that I definitely wasn't okay, and pulled me out of the water.  

After that Mom and I had a talk about how sometimes, when we're in trouble we might have to ask for help (wow, not talking to strangers is complicated!).  

Sadie is developing a very selective "fear" of strangers.  When she wants Mommy to hold her she can scream her head off to keep from going to anyone else.  However, it is a very selective fear.  Today just before the start of Mass, a man that we didn't know came and sat down next to us.  Sadie is definitely the "church baby" and is used to knowing everyone and being a little social butterfly (although there is another baby now, who is littler than she is, who was baptized today) at Mass.  

Sadie twisted around to study our neighbors face.  He had a full beard, which I thought might put her off a little.  It didn't.  After five minutes of smiling at him, while I jiggled her and tried to distract her, she started to reach out her arms to try to go to him.  When I thwarted that plan she went into a full fuss (just as the baptism started).  I ended up spending the next fifteen minutes standing in the entry way, swaying from side to side while Sadie came up with different excuses to "talk."  

She tried a similar stunt at Sweet Tomatoes in Santa Clara with a teenage girl who was sitting with her family.  Sadie decides she wants to go to somebody and it takes a lot of convincing to distract her and prevent a meltdown!

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