Monday, June 7, 2010

Growing Pains

This morning I was too lazy to reach for my usual mug, clean in the dishwasher, and opted for the Mickey Mouse variety from the cupboard directly above the machine.

I sat down next to the champ, slurping away on Honey Nut Cheerios and watching some crazy cartoon.
"Mama, that's Daddy's coffee."
"No, it's Mommy's. Daddy's still in bed."
"But that's Daddy's coffee."

Because Daddy always drinks his coffee from the Mickey Mouse mugs. And Mommy from the daintier variety. Gotta love how children always notice when something's out of its natural order.

Yesterday it was warm enough to set up the inflatable kiddie pool in the front yard. I realized as he ran around the yard in the buff that it's not as "cute" as it once was. Not that there's anything wrong with nudity. Just means he's growing up. His chubby little legs and arms aren't so chubby anymore.  That and try to carry his dead weight at 10pm every night from his bed to the toilet for a pee.

Ask him to do anything, from brushing his teeth to putting on his socks to going outside and the first response is a stern, "NO! I said No." Funny how he sounds just like his Mom when he responds that way? Not really. Trying to use softer tones before I get a call from the school.

Saturday and Sunday afternoons are usually reserved for Skype calls with the grandfolk. They're all so far away and it's breaking hearts. "I don't want to talk to Nanny and Papa". "But I don't want to." He doesn't quite get the concept that they're missing him like crazy and this is their once-a-week window into his little world. And why would/should he? Though I have tried to explain the situation out of desperation. Helps if we introduce all of his toys.

This Friday is the last day of regular school for the little man. Then it's two weeks of summer school and then he's off for like 6 weeks...(this is me freaking out). So of course there is a little party planned (it's my turn to bring the coffee) and also a performance associated with this event. The last three party performances have been disasters for the little guy and for us. He is, like us, rather outgoing and friendly and bubbly. But when it comes to singing with the group, he gets a bad case of performance anxiety (soooo not like us). It goes something like this:
  • Parents come to the school at appointed time.
  • Parents get ushered into the classroom. while kids wait (im)patiently in their hallway cubbies.
  • Parents wait anxiously perched on tiny chairs or cross-legged on the floor, cameras at the ready, for the procession of kids.
  • Kids file in.
  • And...there's my kid at the end of the pack sobbing and holding onto a teacher's hand.
  • He comes straight to me, snot dripping from his nose.
  • Kids proceed to sing their Swedish songs (which our little man sings freely at home) while I try to reason/motivate/push him back into the circle.
  • Hubby takes video of the class, minus our sobber.
Now, I wrote about this before. How at the Christmas concert, I sort of "lost it". I became angry. It was not a nice scene. I resolved to never, EVER do that again, EVER, EVER. The last time, even after trying to prep him for the event, it dissolved into a puddle of tears again. Although dissapointed, I didn't let on and I refused to let those toxic feelings enter my soul.

I started the week off by talking to him about the upcoming party and how much fun it will be when he sings with the kids. I think the problem might be that he doesn't like to see us go into the classroom while he has to wait outside. Any suggestions that could ensure we get to see him sing with the others AND more importantly, he gets to feel great about being a part of it?


septembermom said...

My kids are super shy about performances. They will perform with the class, but they do look like they can't wait until its over. I wish they would enjoy it more. The only advice I can give (who knows if it is even helpful) is to have mini rehearsals with him at home. Maybe it will be less stressful on performance day if he has done it so often? I don't know. Wish I could help more :)

Michelle said...

I agree, I think "mini performances", maybe even for some friends, could be helpful. Also, maybe if you spoke to the teacher and you two walked in with - or just behind - the class he would feel better about it. Hard to say, all kids are different. I had two who were born performers and one who would start warning me as soon as the concert was announced, "I am not singing." We always went though, regardless, and cheered them on. Thats what they will remember, they will hardly recall the songs or the actual event, but will all know you were there.

Michelle said...

And of course I mean, 'always know you were there'.
Time for bed!