After running some errands this afternoon, we decided on an impromptu dinner at Panera. Well, Kayleigh decided. We asked her about going to the local pizzeria, but she insisted on going elsewhere as she had to have mac and cheese from Panera. Oh well, you pick your battles.
Anyway she was well on her way to being overtired thanks to fighting a cold as well as her nap. Lack of her early afternoon downtime leads to crankiness and/or loopiness. Tonight she went for loopiness.
After finishing her dinner she conned her way off her seat by pretending to want to hop on my lap and then maneuvering to the floor. Then I saw a glint in her eyes. That glint said, “I’m going to say hi to everyone in this restaurant.” And sure enough, she set off to do just that. Working her way from one table to the next Kayleigh greeted as many customers as she could and inquired what they might be doing.
Fortunately The Moppet brings out the best in people. Pretty much everyone smiles back and actually puts in effort to join her conversation – although that one guy was not going to give me a hug no matter how many times she suggested it. I worry sometimes that her overly friendly attitude might rub some people the wrong way. But most people respond in a genuinely positive manner – I’ve even noticed a couple here and there waiting for her to swing by their table. My main goal is just to make sure that she doesn’t over stay her welcome, or invite herself to any dinner parties.
Of course there is also the fear of “stranger danger”. But the reality is that abductions like that are few and far between. As long as I can keep an eye on her and teach her to be aware of her surroundings, a little friendliness can go along way to brightening her, and other people’s, day.