Yesterday, Dapoppins was nice enough to lend us one of her children for a playdate. She keeps extras for just such an occasion. Ethan was thrilled to have his friend come over to play, which he let me know loudly and repeatedly.
(Apply ice pick directly to the forehead.)
Everything was fine. They played well together, but I could tell Ethan frustrated his buddy at times. Like, from the time that he showed up at our house until the time we dropped him off at his.
It's not unusual for Ethan to have that effect on kids his own age. Especially those who like to follow directions and do things the way they're supposed to be done.
Ethan's thoughts on that? Bo-ring! Let's talk to a pillow. And pretend it's a hamburger. In outer space.
He doesn't make friends easily.
I wish I knew how to help him, but, the way I see it, the aspects of his personality that kids find most off-putting are...well, his entire personality.
He's...chipper. Freakishly chipper. He eats sunshine and poops rainbows. He's in-your-face happy.
(I've always hated people like that.)
He's also completely oblivious to the effect his over-exuberance has on his peers. He thinks everyone esteems made-up songs about banana cameras and pirate toes as highly as he does. Which is why he sings them over and over and over again.
Yes, he's creative. He cracks me up. But that's part of the problem.
When we're at home, he plays to an audience of one. Me. And I think he's hilarious. Most adults do. But kids?
Not so much.
The other day, it was nice outside, and a small group of neighborhood boys were playing out front. Ethan asked them if it would be alright if he joined them.
The oldest (probably a year older than Ethan) said okay.
Ethan's response: "I can play with you? Hooray! Oh, what a beautiful day! I like your pretty shirt."
Inside, I was dying for two reasons.
One, because I wanted to laugh so badly it hurt.
And two, because, in that moment, I got a good glimpse into Ethan's future.
All I can say is, I'm stocking up on Neosporin now, 'cause there's a whole heap of ass-kickin's comin' down the pike.