A perfect mismatch
Greta is an enigma. I’m a little worried about what she is going to be like as a teenager.
She does not (ahem NOT) like strangers. Even when she was a squashy three-month-old listing sideways in the shopping cart, she would never (NEVER) smile at the inevitable friendly person who came up behind us in the checkout line. Our newly found grocery-store-checkout-friend would babble, and coo, and say “what a pretty baby,” and make faces, and Greta would simply stare. them. down. She wouldn’t avert her eyes, she wouldn’t cry, she wouldn’t look for me. She would stare at them with this expression that said, “What? Are you trying to be entertaining? Because I am bored and I couldn’t possibly be bothered to toss you so much as a gummy grin.” It was very Eeyore of her, if you ask me. People would look at me as if I had been rude, and I would fumble over an apology that she doesn’t like strangers.
These days, Greta has her favorite people. Some are favorites because of regularity, some are favorites because they work to charm her, and some are favorites because Greta just knows they are awesome. She’ll spot a faraway family member in a photo and start screaming their name. She’ll hear the word “car” and bolt for the door, while shrieking the name of every person who has ever driven her anywhere. She’ll be bored and start demanding her people come rescue her from (god forbid) independent playtime. She is enthusiastic about her favorites.
What’s funny to me is that she still has the exact same reaction to most acquaintances and all strangers who approach her: deadpan gaze, stone cold fox, winner of the staring contest.
It takes a lot to bust into Greta’s world and win her over. Many have tried and few have succeeded. Greta’s best friend is one such person who pursued her, and pursued her, and pursued her until she caved. And now, I call him Greta’s best friend. He’s her best friend because she wakes up from her nap asking for him. When we walk Maren to the school bus twice a day, she is asking for him. I love that Greta’s best friend is the eleven-year-old boy-next-door Paco.
After months and months of effort on his part, she graduated from giving him a daily high-five to giving him a daily hug (big deal for G). She often gets out of the car and, instead of heading into our house, starts walking to Paco’s house calling for him. He (no joke) invites her over to his house to play, and kindly brings her home if a stink arises. He plays outside with her and keeps her away from the street. The two of them are an odd pair: she not-yet-two and he all gangly, but when you see them together it just clicks. They adore each other; they are best friends.
My G, she knows how to pick them, and I hope that her penchant for loving amazing people continues through her life. Paco’s going to make someone a great husband/father one day, and G will be there to say “I told you so.”