Monday, March 31, 2008

Another birthday party, another bad day for Mommy.....

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.


Anonymous said...

be encouraged...YOU ARE THE BEST ROLE MODEL FOR YOUR CHILD!!!! My Keighley hates large groups esp those that tend to make loud noise... she is confident and well adjusted and is very verbal etc... but when it comes to loud noises and groups she HATES them!!! Im with you on the SAHM v the WM...I got that a lot at the YMCA in MA when I was in school full time... but I think we get those looks more b/c our kids are better behaved and the other kids despite being with a parent who is home all day is still a jerk to other people and those mom's are embarassed and take it out on us...who despite working, raising a family and putting dinner together still have great kids!!!
Miss Priss will grow into own self....keep encouraging her and as you did on the balence beam keep sticking up for HER then she will learn to stick up for herself... you rock!! xo Lyns

Amanda Cowan said...

I like how you stood your ground with the balance beam. I definitely have so much respect for working moms. I just don't know how they do it. I'm pretty lucky to be able to have emotional (most of the time) and financial support of my husband to be able to stay home. I know what you mean about the war thing.. It's pretty dumb. I'm not sure I agree with anonymous that working kids are better behaved.. that is a pretty generalized comment, and I think that all kids have their moments.. I think it might even be a 4-year old thing, not a SAHM thing. Anyway, I'm sorry the Birthday parties are such a source of stress for you! This is the time you should be having fun with them! bummer!! Hopefully some more of these types of events and she'll get to feeling a little more comfortable.