One worrying aspect of taking Khalid out is how he will interact with other children. He’s quite shy as far as kids go- even more so than normal ones- so he’s overly good at keeping his hands to himself.
Even with Iman, who hits, pinches, taunts, kicks, and noogies her way through life (I’ve been told that she’s the normal one) Khalid seldom hits back, and his strategy is one of defense and escape. Iman can be sitting on his chest and trying to pull off his eyelids, but all he will do is cover his eyes. So you can see how I would be worried for Khalid when it comes to other kids, who can be vicious little beasties when unsupervised. Good news, my fears have been allayed.
Last week, we took the kids to the Dubai Outlet Mall, which in addition to cheap brand name shopping, also has cheap indoor play areas. Hooray! For 30 dhs, we were able to get both kids into an area with two bouncy castles, a bouncy slide, and a bunch of other great kid-proof play equipment. The slides, benches, and even floor were covered with foam. It was a weekday evening, so the mall was nice and empty, and there was only one other kid in the play area with Khalid and Iman. I snuck away while they were bouncing and wandered off to do some discount browsing. Joy stayed to watch the kids, and when I came back, this is what she told me.
A little boy named Andre was playing rough. He was pushing and hitting, and at one point he deliberately knocked Khalid over in the bouncy castle. Joy watched, waiting to see how Khalid would respond. Khalid picked himself up, walked around Andre, matter-of-factly KICKED HIM IN THE BUTT and then walked away.
It gets better.
Andre backed off for a while, but finding nothing better to do, and no one else to bother since there were only three kids in the play area (the third being Iman, and you do NOT want to mess with her) came back and sat down next to Khalid. Then he punched Khalid on the thigh.
Khalid stood up, and without anger or malice, took Andre’s leg. Then he pulled. And Andre came crashing down from the (foam) bench and on to the (foam) floor. And Khalid walked away and found somewhere else to sit. And thereafter, Andre kept his malice to himself.
This may sound weird, but I am so proud of Khalid. He responded without doing more than he had to. He expressed his dissatisfaction with a swift kick to the butt, and then he walked away. When Andre came back and hit him again, Khalid responded with just enough force, but no amount of abuse, and then walked away again. My gentle giant of a four-year old can stand up for himself. Alhamdulillah. 😀