Last weekend we got together with Matt, Jenny, and Ava Parker. Dan and I grew up with Jenny, and we have continued the close relationship after Matt and Jenny married. (I even sang at their wedding!) We couldnâ€™t have been more thrilled when we found out she was pregnant just a few months after I became pregnant. We knew that our children would be friends. Since Ava was born, they have lived in Macon so it was difficult to get together as much as we would have liked. It goes without saying that we were thrilled when we found out that were moving back to Griffin. It has taken us a couple of months to plan a get-together, but we finally did it. This would be only the third time that Ava and Brittain would be around each other. The other times had been at birthday parties and such, so not such a great place for them to really get to know each other and play together. Jenny and I were excited to watch the beginning of their relationship.
Iâ€™ve been intrigued as Iâ€™ve watched other childrenâ€™s personalities who are around Brittainâ€™s age. I figured that Ava would probably be a lot like Brittain. Like Brittain, Ava hasnâ€™t gone to daycare. Since she was born sheâ€™s been in the care of her parents, Jennyâ€™s mother, or Jennyâ€™s grandmother. So, I have to admit that I was a little surprised when the Parkers arrived and I saw Avaâ€™s confidence and invincible attitude. When Ava walked into the house you could see Brittain giving her the â€œonce over.â€ She was taking her time, looking her over, checking her out, making sure she wasnâ€™t a serial killer. Ava, on the other hand, ran straight up to Brittain to greet her with a huge hug. You could tell that Brittain was a little uncomfortable with this straightforwardness (is this a word?), but she allowed it. The unfortunate part of this moment happened when both girls lost their footing and fell to the floor. Neither of them were hurt in the least. In fact, Ava immediately jumped back up and went onto something else. Brittain, however, acted as if she had broken a limb on the way down and she would never recover. I did what any mother would do. I picked her up and comforted her, but I found myself in an awkward situation. While I wanted to say, â€œBaby. Itâ€™s okay. Mommyâ€™s here. Let me hold you and comfort you and make it all better,â€ I also found myself attempting to have the nonchalant mother attitude like, “ha ha ha. what in the world? youâ€™re okay. nothingâ€™s wrong with you. you NEVER do this!” Let me tell you, itâ€™s difficult to do both of these at the same time. After about a half hour of consoling, Brittain seemed to be okay and was ready to get back in the game. The funny part is that Ava continued to be affectionate and was determined to let Brittain know how much she cared. After the first hug that resulted in the tumble to the floor, we saw that Brittain was apparently NOT into this. The rest of the evening was spent with Ava having the time of her life (while showing her adoration to Brittain) and Brittain keeping a safe distance from Ava while watching her out of the corner of her eye to make sure she didnâ€™t get too close.
I believe that the night ended well. I finally realized that we were among friends and there was no way Jenny was judging my child or my mothering skills. The real relief came in the days following. Since last Friday, Brittain frequently talks about â€œMatt, Aunt Jenny, and Ava.â€Â Â She obviously has fond memories as well.
Jenny emailed me a couple days later and told me that her mom had a good laugh as she told her that she had the â€œtown bully.â€ I laughed as I realized that Ava was the first â€œhugging bullyâ€ I had ever met. After this night, Jenny and I vowed to get the girls together often.Â Perhaps this will serve to â€œtoughenâ€ Brittain up.Â You know, the â€œTough Loveâ€ approach : )
Ava arrived dressed to the nines and ready to play:
“I’m okay. You’re okay.”:
A hug attempt:
and the result:
You can’t see me, of course, but I’m the one behind the camera continuing to take pictures hoping that would make me seem like I was easily able to laugh this off. (All the while I was DYING on the inside as Brittain was screaming, “MOMMY!!!! HOLDYOU!!!!”):
Ava took a few minutes to relax:
then do a few lunges:
then put on her game face. She was ready to go in again:
And she did:
“Hee hee. Hee hee. Hee hee. Yes, I’m having fun. Why do you ask? Do I look nervous or something? Hee hee. Hee hee.”:
A sweet moment as Brittain and Ava shared in the joy of stickers:
“Yeah, we’re sharing. We’re fine. See?”:
I ALMOST caught a cute picture. Ava and Brittain were both sitting in these chairs, reclined. Of course I waited a half of a second, which is like 30 minutes in toddler time:
“I’m good now. It’s 2 hours past my bedtime. I’m so delirious I don’t even realize I’m here.”:
Since Jenny and I had been watching after the kids all evening, the boys offered to give us a break. This is one of the pictures I found on the camera the next day:
Brittain finally gave in at about 10:30 and passed out on Daddy. Ava, however, hung in there until the bitter end. When they left at midnight, she was still going strong.