I realized last night that I don't know what to do with a school aged, or even older preschool aged, child. I try to make jokes. They aren't funny. Kids don't laugh. I get flashbacks to high school days. I am forced to deal with an internal struggle between my inner nerd and the cool person I long to be. I think that the kid I'm dealing with gets confused by the silence that fills the air as I think through this. Not pretty.
We were able to "play" with some fun peeps here in Tallassee. They have three boys, and the only one who seemed to care for me at all was the youngest, who turned four yesterday. It's odd, because ten years ago I had no problem dealing with a wide span of ages. Now I'm completely confused. I fight the urge to play peek-a-boo, knowing that probably isn't the best game for a ten year old boy. I'm also not totally sure about how to deal with boys. I kept wondering, "Is this going to offend him? Does decorating cookies constitute a girly activity?"
The evening was thoroughly enjoyable, though, despite my inability to understand children who are older than my own. We were able to be with adults, an experience that I have missed more than I realized. Edwin is a little bitter about a play I made in the card game, though he denies it. (Don't worry; no bets were cast.) Granted, he did come in last, so he has a right to a little bit of resentment. DeLaynie had fun too. She loves older kids, and she loves boys. It was a perfect playgroup as far as she was concerned. In fact, I think that she does better with older kids than her mommy. It's my guess that I'll figure out how to deal with older children as my children get older. Either that, or DeLaynie and Ella are going to get really tired of peek-a-boo by the time they're sixteen.