I have been very fortunate since having Samudra that I have met so many beautiful mums and kids in Jakarta from all over the world. Once I returned with him from Australia at around 8 weeks old, he was only really exposed to local kids in the complex and there were definitely hundreds of them! I took him walking every day and for hours on end as it was the only way to stop him crying and therefore to keep myself from falling apart as I was in a sleepless haze all the time. I met hundreds of local mothers also but the language barrier made it difficult to have any meaningful conversations or to be able to ask for any advice. They would hold him while all the local kids would surround him and call his name and want to touch him.
At around 5 months old I started to take him to BWA Playgroup (British Womens Association) even though he couldn’t yet crawl and just lay on the floor while the bigger kids played and sang songs in a circle around him. I felt I really needed to be around other mothers to find out what I was supposed to be doing and to be able to share experiences and have a conversation I could actually follow without stumbling with my terrible Indonesian language skills. I found this place wasn’t quite right for me although I did meet some beautiful mums there.
Over time we found our way and met really lovely mums who had babies around the same age and it’s been so precious to watch them growing and changing together. Although the mum’s have fun catching up, the kids have always been in the same space but not really played together, just exploring on their own and having fun.
Samudra is like a completely different child when he is around different groups of kids. If they are older than him, he is loud, confident and full of life, but if they are the same age, he is more reserved and plays alone.
In saying that, ever since Samudra and Zoe first met at our Monday playgroup, they have been bound together in their special little friendship. Before they could walk, and all they could do was crawl and sit, Zoe would follow Samudra everywhere on playgroup dates and they would sit with their toes touching. They graduated to Zoe trying to cuddle Samudra every time she saw him once they could stand and started walking, which always had Samudra in tears. Now that they can run, Zoe has cooled off on her affections, and it’s Samudra who is always chasing her and trying to kiss her cheeks. They play rough together, laugh together and keep us entertained watching them grow together.
I can’t wait to see their little friendship grow this year and watch them changing and developing their little personalities more. Such a super cute little friendship they have.