Sunday, May 3, 2015

DAY SEVEN: Party Pooper

This morning it was Connor’s turn to go to a party filled with his friends. And it was my turn to take him!

Working on Saturdays means that I sometimes miss out on fun activities with the boys, like birthday parties. Plus, I was looking forward to meeting some of the parents of the kids in his class (as I was picked to be one of two room mothers, a job I didn’t exactly sign up for.)

As we were leaving, Connor was excited about the party and seeing his friends, but when we got there he didn’t want to leave the car. I coerced him out talking up the party and cake (of course!) then once inside he turned into a wallflower. Pulling his hoodie over his eyes, he refused to take his shoes off and join the kids in the bouncy house. He asked for a snack, which I decided to indulge—even though he had already eaten two breakfasts and it was only 11AM—because I thought maybe he’s hungry and then he will play.

Nope, he stuck to me like glue. The gymnastics instructors had the kids walking around like animals, he laughed and cheered for his friends but still wouldn’t participate. He kept saying he wanted to go home, why wouldn’t I take him home. I didn’t want to give in, I knew if he could just get him in there that he would have a blast.

All of the other adults were trying so sweetly to get him to join in the fun and he just held onto my leg. Then I started saying that if he could just join some of the class, then he could have cake. He simply said, “I don’t want cake.” WHAT?!?!? No cake, I started to feel desperate.

After a full hour of this very un-Connor-like behavior, I caved and said if he didn’t want to do the trampoline and eat cake then we could go, and he beelined for the door. In the lobby, I turned to say goodbye to the birthday girl’s mom when he quietly sneaked out the front door—past four adults who didn’t stop a 2 year old from leaving the building unattended—one of whom casually said oh he’s outside. I was like WHAT?

I thought he was standing right next to me, but nope he was in a parking lot—and that’s when it took a turn for the worse. I grabbed his arm and dragged him back in to get my bag and coat, all the while ranting that he cannot walk away from Mommy, he cannot go out a door and he knows better than to walk in a parking lot without holding hands. He grudgingly took his goodie bag while I apologized and declined our fourth offer of cake.

I left feeling so upset and embarrassed. I don’t know why, but it’s really bothering me that he would rather be home playing alone than with his friends. In truth he had a very weepy morning so I was hoping his excitement about the party would make him happier—no such luck. But don’t worry about him, he is playing sweetly with his toys and enjoying himself…now that he is home.

I have never encountered this with either of my boys—they are always the first ones to jump in. I have seen other parents struggle but somehow their child overcomes it within 10/15 minutes. How do they do that? I clearly need some tutoring on their removing-child-from-leg technique….

Honestly the whole thing left me feeling completely bummed and burnt out. But why? Is it because I feel like he missed out? Is it because I overreacted to him being outside? Is it because I caved in and took him home?
I have no idea.

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