Since yesterday evening was such a nice evening to be outside, I took my *project* outside with me for awhile and sat in the yard and let the poochie play for a bit. The two most adorable neighbor kids in the world live next to me, and for awhile they were in their back yard as well, with another kid from somewhere on the block. Betwixt the random screams of "Look, BIRD POOP!" and the sound of young children sliding off the roof of their little playhouse, I suddenly heard the neighbor girl, the eldest of the three, explaining to their friend as they all peeped through the fence: "That's little Cheetoh! It's just a little puppy. Here, Cheetoh! Come here!" Chico sniffed their fingers for about two seconds before sauntering away in his aloof little way. They stared through the chain-link fence for about two more seconds, then went back to sliding off the roof.
These kids are both fascinated with and terrified by me, although I can't really figure out why for either. Any time I'm outside and they're somewhere nearby, they grin shyly at me until I make eye contact with them and smile - then they run away and hide behind something. The next second they think I'm not looking, they creep back up and stare at me, watching very intently whatever I'm doing, whether it be working in the flower beds or mowing or reading a book in the sun. Or crocheting, apparently. Part of this I'm sure has to do with their age - I would guess the boy to be about 3-4ish, the girl maybe 5-6. Sometimes the girl, in her little blond pigtails, manages to offer up a quick wave before getting embarrassed. Last night was the first time I've really seen them since the brutal winter, so maybe sometime soon I'll be able to draw them out of their shells a little without scaring them (or their parents, of whom I've met only their mom, once, for a 5-minute conversation).
Any ideas how to pull this off?
(You know, other than dressing up in a dinosaur suit and singing children's songs.)
(Although I'm pretty sure that would REALLY scare their parents.)