Brief Observations of the Socialization of my Toddler mancub.

The most offensive thing Caleb can say to me these days is, "You are not my friend!" I have been told this from him many times. I respond usually by saying, "No I am not your friend! I AM YOUR MOMMY!" So there!

Every since he was a baby, I have observed his social tendencies. You know how babies go through the stage, where they play near each other, but not with each other. Then they will notices each other a little more, but still  do their own thing. They might stand by each other and see each other there, and they might even interact. But the play is limited to their age and where they are at developmentally. Caleb is a far cry from that time now, but I have observed a change in his play.

When he was in toddlers room, he had his friends. In fact, he had his exclusive best friend group. 
 These guys caused trouble during circle time and always stuck together. They missed each other, talked about each other when they were at home, and told others about their best friends. At the playground at home, Caleb watched the big kids play and sometimes tried to copy them. 

Now, Caleb goes to the playground where the boys play in our neighborhood. They are all ages 5 and up. He tries to be one of the guys now. He walks up, or rides up in his "motorbike" and says, "Hi Guys!" He will copy what they are yelling and want to be apart. But the bigger boys either don't respond or keep playing, not noticing the little guy on the scene. This so far hasn't bothered Caleb, as he tries to join in.

When I pick Caleb up from school, I am often met with running, sweaty, screaming kids. Last time they were shooting everyone and running back and forth. Another time they were monsters. When I drop him off at school sometimes, the boys will come running, "CALEB! HEY CALEB! CALEBYYYYY!" He usually doesn't give them a moment of his time, as he is often in an early morning funk with mom dropping him off.
Sneaking up on monsters.
Being bears with Alex during the spring. 
One of the guys admiring his cape.
A hug from a random boy in line for the bounce house. 
I have enjoyed watching kids play (Wrote about that in Thoughts on Watching Kids Grow) and have seen the progression in Caleb over the last few years, from babe to little boy. It's just interesting and fun to see how Caleb's socialization changes as he grows, and how that affects his interactions with other kids.
As of now, he's still a fan of hanging out with his mom and best friend Jessie. I'll take it while I can. And yea, he says she is HIS best friend. Not mine. He says this often.