You got a friend in me

Sophie hit 18 months old last week and, apparently, she’s got herself an actual friend!

Not just a playmate by virtue of her mummy having friends with kids, but someone who she wants to play with for herself! Amazing!

It was very cute hearing how her and this girl “Isla” had been playing at nursery one day, particularly as Sophie had decided she could say Isla’s name and therefore was wandering round aimlessly repeating it.

Sounds more like someone who has loved and lost but she’s just enjoying the sound it makes!

And it got me thinking what friendships have looked like for Sophie in her first year and a half. She has done quite well for herself.

You got a friend in me

You got a friend in me

The “friend since birth”

When I was at school, there was a girl who had been born just a day after me but we never really moved in the same friendship circles.

Sophie however and baby E, even though she’s based at the other end of the country, have been forced friends and now genuine friends from the moment they were born.

Baby E was meant to be a month older than Sophie but they ended up only four days apart and they are so lovely together.

First of all, it was lying next to each other on the playmat, both pulling at different multi-coloured noisy creatures before their parents shifted them round.

Then, it was sitting next to each other in their highchairs, trying to convince one another to eat the food we’d slavishly made for them.

Now though, and most wonderfully, it’s to follow each other around relentlessly repeating each other’s names and giggling at one another in the mirror. Oh and tag team splashing in the bath, soaking anyone within a 5 metre radius!

The friends you see every day

Since she started nursery, Sophie has experienced what we all have to do at some point – being put together with other people in the same situation through no choice of your own.

School. Workplace. Nursery. They’re all the same when it comes to the initial connection.

Sophie’s had her ups and downs with nursery friendships. Remember the biting incident from a few months back. But now she’s a bit bigger and a bit more confident, she does seem to be making friends at nursery and not just finding her own individual spaces to play in.

It’s really lovely!

The friends who are older

These guys are wonderfully kind to Sophie. There’s a network of older girls belonging to mine and my wife’s wider friendship group and they have always been really excited to see Sophie. She’s the younger one but as she’s grown up so obviously have they and the way they look after her and interact with her is very kind.

It can get a little bit close to the bone occasionally. For instance, older children are happy for Sophie to play with them on their terms and will sometimes guard their own possessions like hawks, only allowing Sophie access when they are comfortable with it.

Or they may pull her around a little bit and treat her like one of their dolls, just because she’s smaller and more fragile. I have had Sophie bury herself in my legs a couple of times to hide from the scary older girls who mean well but can be a bit loud and a bit too big for her.

However, these situations are rare compared to the love and attention she has always received from older children. She’ll be such a lucky girl if these can maintain all the way up to and through her teenage years.

So there you have it. Sophie is making friends and with every new person that comes into her life she takes a step away from us and towards independence. At the moment, she’s a sociable and happy little girl. We hope she never loses the confidence to interact with others but in every situation we’ll be there to back her up if she needs us.