Miss Priss is always so excited about going to her friends' birthday parties until we get there. We went to another one this weekend. I thought it was going to go well - when the leader told all the kids to follow her, Miss Priss followed - I was shocked. Until, that is, she came back sobbing. I feel so bad for her. I don't know how to help her get over this anxiety. From what I can tell, she's afraid of large groups of people and of people she doesn't know - this was a large group of people that she mainly didn't know. I can't say much since that is exactly what causes me anxiety, but that's why I want to help her.
But I'm not always sure how to handle a situation myself. I finally got Miss Priss calm enough to get on one of the balance beams (that was 6 inches off the ground), and she was walking along and this other little girl got on the other end and started walking toward Miss Priss. She yelled to her mom (who was sitting and talking to another mother nearby), "Mommy, that little girl is on my balance beam!"
Her mom yelled back, "Well, was she there first?"
"Yeah, but I want to be on this one." Then she glared at Miss Priss. I didn't know a 4 year old could put that much venom in her stare.
"Well, get down since she was there first."
She totally didn't listen (and her mom made no move to make her listen). She came toe to toe (literally) with Miss Priss (who must have sensed that I wasn't about to let her get off the balance beam ). She started to put her arms up to push Miss Priss off (which was not about to happen - I would have pushed that her off first - okay, maybe not, but I would have wanted to), and her Mom came up, grabbed her by the arm and told her to go sit down in time out. She laid down and had this huge temper tantrum (which her mom ignored and went back to talking), but Miss Priss and I continued down the balance beam. I'm not about to tell someone how to parent their child, but their child isn't going to get away with trying to push my child around.
This is why I'm better with blogs than I am with people IRL. Miss Priss' classmates' parents are a group that is especially tough for me. It's one of the only places where I feel like there's this - I don't know what to call it - animosity almost? - between SAHMs and working mothers. Around her classmates' parents, for the most part, I feel like they look down on me for being a working mother which, #1 irritates me to no end (hello?! Can't we all just respect each other's choices for our respective families?) and #2 makes me so uncomfortable and anxious to prove that my child is as happy and well-adjusted as any of them. That probably explains why it makes me so crazy when Miss Priss starts crying at these parties, and my own anxiety probably doesn't help her. I don't want to teach her to avoid situations that make her nervous because I know from experience that she can't do that all her life, but this is one instance where I really don't think I'm the best role model for her.