Punky loves this adorable little girl at our church. She's very into babies, real or otherwise, and this little girl is super tiny for her age and as cute as can be. Punky loves to invade her "bubble." She touches her face, plays with her hair, and rubs her legs and arms, proudly exclaiming, "I'm touching her!" I'm the kind of mother who's very conscious about my kids annoying other mothers and them doing things they might not like. I'm good friends with "Tiny's" mom but I still feel like I can use this as a teaching time for Punky to learn personal space.
My in laws had us all over tonight for burgers and Punky enjoyed playing with Tiny but also enjoyed annoying every other parent there. She hugged them all, kissed them all before leaving, which is incredibly sweet, but I could still see the weary faces of everyone just tired of having to dish out one more hug on her command. She also decided she had to fix Tiny's mom's hair. I pulled her aside and told her that while she was being very sweet, she couldn't touch Tiny's mom's hair anymore because we had to give her some space. Of course, a "spacey" look was all I got in return. Of course she doesn't understand what I'm saying. I try again. "Mommy said don't touch Tiny's mom's hair because sometime people don't like it." That got a little spark of light in her eye. "Don't touch her hair again, ok?" Ok, Punky said. And she didn't. But she didn't back off Tiny or any of the other parents there.
I know she's just being a kid. A sweet kid at that and the last thing I want to do is discourage that. Far too few people in this world are the way she is right now. But how on earth do I teach her not to invade the bubble and give other's their space? How do I teach her that perhaps it's ok to hug everyone in the room when she's leaving, but she MUST make sure she doesn't over do it?
I guess of all problems to be having with Punky, this is probably a good problem to have, but I still don't want people to dread being around us because she demands so much attention, you know? Anyone have any suggestions or comments on how to fix this with a two year old?