We were in the park yesterday for a free music in the park event. A man walked by our blanket wheeling a bike with a trail-a-bike attached. His family was sitting on the blanket next to ours. My 18 month old toddler saw male legs, saw the trail-a-bike and followed the man back to his family's blanket.
He sat down next to his family and said hi to his folks and daughter (age 5). My toddler went right up to him, turned around and plopped into his lap. We were all astonished. "She's never done that before!" I told them before I introduced myself. She contentedly sat in his lap for 20 minutes listening to the band play, and when she finally stood up, she turned to him, said "Dada!" and gave him a hug.
When his own child climbed into his lap for a hug, my toddler started crying, pulling at her shirt and waving her hands agitatedly. (She was very jealous!) As soon as his daughter moved away, my child ran back into his arms.
Thank you, sir, for being so kind to my daughter. For holding her so patiently, for reassuring me that it was okay with you that she took up your time (and your lap!) and for making her feel so at ease in your presence. Thank you to your generous family for sharing your snacks with us (I also shared with them), and for always asking me for permission before offering my child something.
It was the oddest and sweetest thing I'd ever seen.