I like the coffee shop for its social aspect as much as I do for the caffeine. It's usually crowded, and there never seems to be enough tables. I've met many people there by asking, "Can I sit with you until a table opens up?" Nothing like sitting with interesting people, and hearing their stories while they're amp'ed-up on caffeine. =)
On days when I have the Bug, I bring along some children's books. (I've learned a lot about children's books over the years.) It used to be I was the only one, but now I see other parents doing the same.
One guy even shared saying, "My wife saw you reading to your son. Now she makes me bring books for our daughter." =)
[One lady mentioned taking her similarly-aged son to weekly speech-development sessions after talking to the Bug .. cuz her son wasn't yet making full sentences.]
But during our reading-time, he doesn't want to engage with anyone, nor does he want me to converse with friends. He has even placed his hand over my mouth and said, "Don't talk, dada. Read!" (sounding more like 'ReeEEED!')
Of course, I feel bad for the nice folks who stop by our table, merely wanting to engage him for a minute and say hello .. especially after they haven't seen him for a while. They don't know it's not personal, but merely bad timing.
Earlier this week, I noticed a couple who seemed enchanted with him as he made the rounds, saying hello to different friends (seated at different tables), showing off his new pirate shirt (that his dada got for him).
••• today's entry continues here below •••
I'd never seen this couple before (named Jessica & Jonathan, as I later learned), but they seemed very nice .. an attractive twenty-something pair. Later, as they were leaving, they stopped by our table to offer some encouraging comments.
Unfortunately, they stopped by during reading-time (which regulars have learned to avoid). I felt bad for them, especially since they said some awfully-nice things. So I tried to get the Bug to greet them, at least briefly, but he would have none of it. He refused to answer the guy's high-five attempt, and left him hanging.
I tried to explain (apologetically) that this was his special reading-time and how he sometimes gets protective. Before leaving, the girl said to him,
"Well, it's good you get to spend the day with your dad."
Those were the magic words. A reluctant smile crept across his face as he slowly turned toward them. It was like he came alive. His eyes lit up as he announced, "I get to spend *two* nights at my dad's house," (throwing up his two little fingers to emphasize the number of nights).
No one has ever gotten him to engage during story-time before. (Tho many have tried.)
"Ya know, my parents were divorced, too. So I know how hard it is. But you're doing a great job. You have a beautiful relationship with your son. He obviously loves you very much."
My reaction surprised me .. cuz I wasn't feeling particularly emotional that morning. In fact, I wasn't feeling emotional at all. Heck, I didn't even know these people. She managed to bypass my defenses. It wasn't so much what she said .. but rather how she said it (with empathy & understanding).
So she somehow penetrated both mine and the Bug's defenses .. within a matter of minutes. And she made it look easy.