Yesterday was the first time I've seen Isaac feel self-conscious in a major way. We were at the North Market with my mom and Ken, and Isaac and I had been upstairs eating while they got their food. When my mom opened the small container of Greek food to reveal something fried that looked like a large hushpuppy, Isaac got very excited and yelled "Wow!". We were definitely not expecting that and started cracking up at how adorable it was.
The thing is, Isaac didn't think it was funny. He didn't mean for "Wow!" to be a joke---just an exclamation of joy that maybe he thought we would share. He stuck out his lower lip and began to pout. Big time. He laid his head on the table, lip quivering, and began to cry. A shoulder-shaking, silent cry...and then looked up, lip still out, tears running down his face. He tried to get out of his high chair. To run away. To hide.
Apparently this is the age when kids start to develop the ability to feel shame. Which of course is a normal part of development and not something I can stop. But can I react differently when Isaac shares his joy? Sure. I can share it with him. Show him that he may be little, but he has big opinions, and they are just as valid as anyone else's.
Nothing to be ashamed of.
Sent from my iPhone