Friday, May 3, 2013

The Exploring-friends-o-meter!

Over the past week or so, Raghav has been playing all day almost with his friend from next door, as that little boy has vacations now.

Most of the day is spent with some quiet and some not-so-quiet time playing indoors with his Thomas engines, where each one lines up trains and drives them all over the house, making up stories, creating problems that need to be solved, jobs to be done, disasters (like volcanoes erupting, or tsunamis striking) that happen, rescue missions and so on. It is quite funny that the engines that have been lying idle for so long, ever since Raghav's little cousin brother left in December, are now all over the place, with Raghav playing happily with them, just because his friend likes to play with them. Similarly, his friend who was an avid fan of football, now shows a keen interest in cricket, thanks to Raghav!

The rest of the time is spent playing Angry Birds or the IPL game on the iPad, sharing a snack, or  practising cricketing shots, run-outs, stumping and bowling in "the nets" that is home! (thankfully with a very soft ball and a plastic bat!).....before they go down in the evening to play their "real"cricket match! Amidst all this, I can hear long conversations about the engines, a variety of topics ranging from the engines themselves to Space to cricket matches they watched to favourite things and food. Suddenly, I will also be summoned to sort out misunderstandings or arguments, or to listen to a special part of their story being acted out. It is lovely to be in a space that is bursting with so much enthusiasm and energy!

However, almost every day would end with a fight or an explosive reaction from Raghav, with one of them saying: "I am not going to be your friend anymore!" But the next day, they will begin playing all over again as if nothing like that had ever happened! Yesterday was Raghav's turn to say that as he felt that his friend was not listening to him. "I need a friend who will LISTEN to me!", he said, exploding with anger. While I held the space from afar, acknowledging how he felt and that he wanted someone who would agree with everything he said, and not just listen, Raghav rolled on the bed, kicking and screaming in frustration and then banged the door shut. That means "leave me alone to myself" for a few minutes. A few minutes later, I went in and we sat together talking about what had happened and how he felt.

This has been a great learning experience for him about himself and his friend - a huge challenge for him, as he struggles to understand another point of view and move out of his egocentric space.

Last night, just before going to bed, Raghav was telling me how he liked playing with his friend, and how he did not like some of the things he did. I asked him if he was exploring friends now (like he explored Lego earlier), as he was spending all day with his friend, and this is what he had to say:

"Yes, amma.....I am into exploring friends now...when J is here and we are playing, my Exploring-friends -o-meter goes up like this (making an imaginary needle go up with his hands).....but when J goes home, then my meter goes down like this to zero, because I cannot explore him anymore as he is not there with me!"

This morning, Raghav came up to me and shared this observation: "Amma, you know something? J now loves to play cricket and not football like soon as I call him to play cricket, he jumps up and says ok!" He also came up with his own solution to his problem with his friend - he said that he was going to ask his friend if they could take turns to listen to each other - so one day, his friend should listen to everything that he says, and the next day he would listen to whatever his friend says!

So yes, much like the speedometer in a car, the needle keeps moving up or down, fluctuating all the while......but I guess what's important is that the meter is constantly working, as he explores his friend.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your thoughts are please do share them....