One of the upsides of deactivating my Facebook account: now I can focus on verbal snapshots of the children.
After Elisha's exams, we decided to give the two unlimited hours in their favorite play area. We took shifts accompanying them, my wife spending most of her minutes in the queues of agitated Christmas shoppers.
Noam mingled quite well with the other children. She has this face when she's trying to explain something to you in that strange half-intelligible dwarvish chirp of hers, her eyebrows arched like so, she seems very confident that you get what she's trying to say. For some reason, we were under the impression that this face was something she kept solely for family. Not so. About 40 or so minutes into the play session, Noam started to use this face on other children. They began exchanging explanations. Whenever they broke off to return to their own worlds, they appeared to leave with some understanding or other (but I have no way of knowing this for a fact).
On the other hand, Elisha made two friends. She forgot to ask the name of the first one. Perhaps she takes it from both parents. She did, however, manage to ask it of her second playmate, without any prompting. I wonder why. Was it something about the second playmate? Or the kind of play they engaged in? Or did the other girl ask her first.
(Of note: Sometimes, Noam would thrust herself in the middle of Elisha's play with other children. This was evident even in Batangas, when they were at play with cousins.)
I had the chance to follow Elisha's progress with the first playmate, a girl who was two or three years her senior. They played dress-up, the see-saw, and watched Dora together. My daughter grew bored after some minutes of Dora and wanted to resume with play, but her friend was intent on watching. Elisha quietly asked her if she wanted to return to the play area, but her friend said—also rather quietly, as if they were tiptoeing but with words—that she'd rather watch. Elisha would thus watch some more, remember her boredom after a couple of scenes (or perhaps she never forgot), and would ask her playmate again.
After the fourth time, I told my daughter to leave her friend to Dora. I reminded her that she could always play alone.