Friday, February 03, 2012

Tidbits: Random photo/Disney-on-Ice edition

An attempt at domestication: melting the broken crayon pieces into muffin tins. (Luke loves to play with my old cell phone)

Domestic all over the place, right down to the piles of laundry on the couch.

A week's worth of paper snowflakes hanging in the kitchen.

David took his first fieldtrip without mom or dad - on the bus! He was so excited, they went to the firestation and he talked about it for days afterward.

If a child doesn't weigh 40 pounds, parents are responsible for installing a 5 pt. harness car seat on the bus. Which I'm happy to do, because I want him to be safe and he LOVES riding the bus. But it makes for some interesting shuffling as moms are passing babies back and forth outside the bus while we take turns installing.

We went to Disney on Ice again this year, more on this below. David was so thrilled to be Woody. And after school on the day of the show, Katy said that a friend from her class was going tonight, too, and said Katy could borrow a Belle dress. So then I was the phone trying to quickly coordinate getting this outfit in the middle of dinner before we left for the show. But she was so excited about the dress, it was worth it.

Another fun aspect of the trip is that we rode downtown with friends (Benji and Avery) who also attended the show. Isn't it funny how kids love to ride in someone else's car? (Also, can you see why people constantly ask me if Katy and David are twins?)

You might remember our adventure last year attending Disney on Ice. The short version is that Katy was terrified (oh, and there was a snow storm). So when I heard about another opportunity for free tickets this year, I wasn't sure. But I thought David would love it and pitched the idea of taking him to Brian. Brian thought she would be ok this year and that the show looked less scary in theme this year (it was). We asked her, she thought about it intensely, and decided she wanted to go.

She was completely excited all the way up until the lights went down. We made it through Mickey and the gang, Aladdin and the 50 Genies (very cool, actually), until Beauty and the Beast. Before I knew it, she was sobbing, curled up in a ball in my lap, begging me to leave. I really hesitated because I felt badly for David, dragging him out too. But we went out to the lobby and calmed down. David said that he was scared of the Beast, too, and didn't like that part. We talked about how they are just people in costumes putting on a show, and that there is nothing they can do to hurt you.

An usher came out and offered to seat us in the back. We could hear Toy Story starting up and the kids wanted to see that, so we went back in. We managed to sit there until intermission, as I coached Katy through every single character on the ice. She never took her hands off of her ears or stopped worrying the entire show.

We got treats at intermission and I managed to coerce them back to the back row and watch the 2nd half, which was less scary for sure. But it was minute by minute, barely making it, the whole time.

I debated through that entire 2 hours about what to do. I completely GET fear and anxiety. Katy comes by it honestly, as I suffer immensely from it. But one of the things that I've learned recently is that if I fear something, especially something irrational, and then I keep avoiding it altogether, my mind becomes convinced that it is a legitimate fear and I end up missing out. That's how some people, in extreme cases, end up locking themselves in their houses for 20 years. So I am always certain to comfort her, assure her that everything is ok, but I don't know how much to let her avoid. We couldn't have left the show and driven home - we had ridden with another family. And truly - nothing about a Disney on Ice show is dangerous (for the crowd). But when she was hysterical, of course I took her out.

And I will never go back, that is for sure. No point in pushing that. Dear Emily of 2013 - IT IS NOT WORTH IT. Step AWAY from the free tickets! But when you are there, at the show, in the moment - do you retreat altogether? Or try to see if you can handle some small doses and challenge the fear? I really don't know the right answer.

The very next morning after the show, we were at church for my mom's group and Katy was in her church classroom. They had to come and get me because Katy was hysterical in fear of - a Veggie Tales video. Veggie Tales. If you've seen them, they are pretty darn tame. Meant for preschoolers. I immediately went downstairs and comforted her and brought her up with me for the rest of my meeting. There was no benefit to pushing that one, and I knew she was already sensitive. She had slept in my bed half that night because of the bad dreams from the ice show.

So my hope would be that I could help my daughter so that she isn't as limited by anxiety as I am. But I don't know the best course of action. Do you?

1 comment:

Dutcher said...

Hey, EM! Will is the same way about most entertainment. The kid will RUN AWAY from the TV when there's a "scary" part on stinkin' THOMAS THE TRAIN! He is also scared of going to the movies. I tried them out now and again, but mostly avoided them until Thanksgiving when we went to see the Muppet movie with some friends. We did a TON of prep work ahead of time, watching and discussing the trailer over and over and talking about what might be scarey and what our plan was if he got scared. Basically, creating a huge situational security blanket beforehand. We had to go out into the hallway for about 15 minutes of it, but I asked him to go back in instead of leaving, so that we could challenge the fear. I think that you handled Katie well, especially since you were stuck there. It has gotten easier for Will as he's gotten older, but I do keep challenging him so that he doesn't end up limited to being at home for the rest of his life. My advice is to do a ton of prep work before any scarey situations and make sure your fear of putting Katie into uncomfortable situations doesn't limit both of you and the rest of your family. Love and hugs!