|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.|
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?