Sophie likes older kids, and she likes hanging around them, observing them, and (if they let her!) playing with them.
Mom is not so impressed by the results of some of the interactions. Like when I saw this other kid telling her that if her "Camembear" (*for fuller explanation see note below*) did not behave, that she should spank him. They were actually halfway through administering corporal punishment when I saw them both. I quickly told Sophie (and other kid) that maybe she should tell the bear that he should sit up and if he couldn't, then maybe they could help him to do it. Fortunately the kids both thought it was a great idea, and they did just that. Maybe it's only a bear, but still!!
I know Sophie's not a baby any longer, and she's a pretty strong willed and independent little girl. But on the other hand, I have this desire to protect her and her gentle nature. And really, we have a very non-violent home. Obviously interaction with other kids is neecessary for her social development, and she's going to go to school in September. I guess I cannot shield her forever, but hopefully I am giving her a headstart in all the right choices?
(**explanation for Name of the Bear)
We're actually pretty proud as it is Sophie's first billingual "joke". In Xi'an was doing French -English translations (e.g. By saying Merci-Thank you, and Please- Si tu plait etcc. all in the same sentence. This was a first time because previous translation were Chinese-English or Chinese-French, so we were wondering if she had not yet made the interactive link between all 3 languages, but in seemed to all come togther in Xi'an, and together with the language explosion was the perpetual "Pour Quoi- Why?" kind of questions.
Anyway, in Huhhot (one week later), I asked her "what is the name of your bear?" and she thought for some time and said "Camembert". This is a name of a French cheese, and you pronounce it with a silent "t" at the end, hence, when you say the word, it sounds like Camem-BEAR -- geddit?
By the by in case you are not on Facebook - these are some of the Xi'an photos.