Yesterday, Me Too had a sleepover at school. I wasn’t convinced she should go. I mean, she’s five. That seems awful small to be spending the night away from home sans parents.
Yes, I realize that most of the other kids are also five, and that this preschool has done a sleepover to kick off summer vacay for the oldest class (what would be kindergarten in the US) since its inception.
But I don’t care.
Me First didn’t go, not because of any gaijin mommy craziness on my part, but because Dad was sick. He was doing better then, had just finished chemo and things looked good. But I was anxious to go home and the tickets were so much more expensive if we waited…
I don’t regret that.
We went to the beach with Dad, my sister, her daughter. We went out to eat. If the children hadn’t seen him then, then all they would have known was a dying old man who only ate mashed potatoes and chocolate milkshakes.
Maybe those memories formed the crux of the problem for me, or maybe it was the little girl who cried half the night the day before saying she didn’t want to go.
Where do you draw the line between encouraging your child to try something they’re afraid of, and respecting their feelings and backing off?
I was/am a scaredy-cat about a lot of things, but let’s take roller coasters for an example. I hate them. I don’t get what is fun about forcing your body into a fight-or-flight response. I mean, haven’t humans lived for thousands of years trying to avoid facing death at every corner?
But there is always someone, some well-meaning butthead who needs to cure me of this dislike of roller coasters.
I’m a thirty something woman now. I know what I like and I certainly know what I don’t. Just back off already.
In the end, Me Too went to the sleepover. She turned to me, with her face full of anxiety and unsureness, when I dropped her off. “Have fun!” I said, with a forced cheerfulness I didn’t feel, and then made a quick exit.
Brother cried for a bit after we dropped Sister off. He saved me the trouble, I guess. Watching them grow and leave is just so hard sometimes. We talked about that over an ice cream kakigori (shaved ice) contraption after we did the grocery shopping.
Sister had a great time. But she has spent the last eleven hours since she got home on my lap. Then she wanted to sleep with the light on. Just kind of confirms for me that she was too small for a sleepover.
Brother seems to have come to the conclusion that it is more pleasant to have his “little bother” (thanks, Olivia) at home than be an only child. Not that there is any choice in that matter now…
So we all survived, more or less unscathed. The teachers, on the other hand, looked worse for wear this morning.