December 16: Fighting stage fright


Are you afraid of public speaking? Do you still get jitters if you have to address a large crowd???? Were you like this as a child? Big Bro is such a child. I would actually say that his shyness and fear of being in front of big crowds is a bit over-the-top.

Let me give you some examples.

  • When he turned two, his daycare had a cake for him and two other children. His grandparents were there for the festivities. During his birthday song he completely lost it and could not bear to sit through the song without burying his head in his “teacher’s” embrace while sitting on her lap.
  • At Halloween his daycare would have a costume parade and he could not Participate in the parade without crying; when seeing me or hubby he would just burst out of line and run to us
  • Similar experience with Halloween and also Chinese new year parade at daycare just last year
  • various activities or events at daycare when his “class” would sing songs to the parents – he would know all the words and be fine at practice, but as soon as the day came in front of the parents, he would just fall to pieces
  • at pre-school graduation he was to embarrassed to walk across the room for his rolled up diploma. The teacher had to walk it over to him.
  • At birthday parties with activities like basketball lessons or bowling, it either takes him a long time to warm up to the event or he simply does not participate at all.

 

 

Last year at his new daycare, he volunteered to be the starring role for a short holiday story. He practiced real hard and knew his lines and knew the acting he had to do and his teachers were so psyched about those practices. I still supported him wondering if he finally turned a corner and could be brave enough to follow through. Heart pounding, I arrived early and hid behind a separation in the room, completely out of sight in the stage area. The class came out. Big Bro took position. And then they just sat there for like 15 minutes or so until the parents arrived and the seats started to fill up. The poor little guy had to sit there with his heart pounding watch the audience build. Finally they started the program, with Big Bro in center stage – a position that he volunteered for…… His lips were being licked, his shoulders started to rise and head slump to the side like was trying to hide, and then he eventually broke down saying “I don’t want to do this anymore”. Laughter. Confusion. A stand-in jumps in where Big Bro left off. My heart sank. But I was expecting it. A part of me felt guilty for not stepping in to let the teachers know more forcefully. But I let him do it. I let him volunteer. And I let him fail. I was hopeful, but it turned out the way I knew it probably would. I went to him and told him how proud I was of him – how he worked hard at practicing and how he knew the play. How I knew that it must have been scary for him and how it’s OK to be scared. How I used to be scared too when I had those kinds of things when I was a kid. And I held him in my lap. And he watched the rest of the performance on my lap. And I held him and I was dying inside feeling like I needed to cry and wishing I could do more for him. And wishing it wasn’t so awkward when he ran off. Why do parents in the audience laugh at such things???????

Anyway, back to today. I already informed his teacher that there might be a problem with today’s performance. All 3 kindergarten classes came tougher on a tiered stage to sing 20 excruciating minutes of delightful holiday songs. His class’ line came out. He was already twisting his arms and neck. Oh no this doesn’t look good. It took another 3 minutes to get the rest of the kids up there. He immediately started to cry, bury his face in his sleeves, head down and trying to hide.

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But…. he stayed in position. They started the program quickly thank goodness. He did not at any point in time utter a word of song. He instead continued to cry in position. I sat there Frozen. Wanting to do something but also not wanting…. Wanting to see if he could pull it together. He wasn’t running off stage!!!!! He stayed in position!!!! He eventually stopped crying!!!!!! He didn’t sing, but he stayed up there with his classmates!!!!! He stood there with his head looking forward, just looking a bit zoned out and looking at the audience. Whenever he looked at me I gave him a huge smile and thumbs up and tried to mouth the words “you’re DOING it!!!!!!!!”.

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Let me tell you it was hard listening to the parents (“did he have a rough morning at home or something?”) but I was beaming for him. I met him immediately off of the side of the stage and again told him how proud of him I was, how he did a great job of staying up there, and how he did a great job of “pulling it together.”

He really has come a long way. And so have I. I am stronger for him and holding back trying to save him from these kinds of situations.

And look at his beaming face afterwards

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And look at his self portrait, brown hair with hints of red, mouth wide open and singing. 🙂

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I love him so much it hurts. And this story had to be told in full over and above the other things that happened today.

Have a great weekend Mamas!!!! Hold your little ones tight!!!!
Until next week –
– Mama K

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November 29: A DAY TO REMEMBER!!!!


Wow what a rough night, what a rough morning. Red woke up at 3 AM feeling clingy, needy, and refusing to let go of my hand. I broke my rule of “no kids in bed” and asked her to come with me. Big Bro heard this and he came too. So we all had a “comfy” night together in bed. I know, this is wrong. This is hard to break. But it was 3 AM and I needed sleep. And I missed my kids since I didn’t see them the night before. So it was selfish of me, too.

I had to wake up early so I could take an 8 AM conference call in the city. I needed to take an earlier ferry. So this AM was unusual again today… and it got worse…

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up to Red and Big Bro. Red was in a great mood. Asking me about my clothes, my stockings, my skirt. And how she has tights, and skirts, and how her skirts have shorts underneath. And if my skirts have shorts too? How cute. She really was in a great, playful mood.
  • Then I saw the Twins bouncing and bounding into the bedroom…. “Mommy!! Mommy!” Twin Crazy was so excited that she was jumping up and down and jumping like a rabbit over to me. Big hugs and kisses. Twin Husky was equally excited, but in his own subdued way.
  • Chocolate Tuesday! Big kids head downstairs. I get their clothes together.
  • I tried to help getting the kids breakfast and then had to pack up to catch the earlier ferry. I had coffee automatically brewed so it was easy to get my fuel for the morning.

My walk to the ferry was nice. I am going to have a busy day today. Back to back conference calls again. It is foggy. Very foggy. As I approach the dock I wonder if it is too foggy for the boat to leave. I can’t see the boat. Was it cancelled? I get there to find out that the ferry is there, but it is full. Shit. What do I do now? What do I do about the conference call, and what does my schedule look like for the rest of the day incase I take the call from home and then try to drive into the city?

I arrive at home, kids are surprised to see me. I look at my schedule and decide to have my admin cancel the 8 AM call and reschedule. I will try again for the normal ferry time to make it to the office for the rest of my meetings.

  • I walk in to see Red sprawled across the benches and screaming crying. Big Bro is not dressed. Twins are upstairs with Hubby.
  • I try to work hard to Red. She is very upset about something. It doesn’t look like she ate breakfast. She is clinging to me. I get her down to get her dressed. She refuses the shirt I picked out. I ask her about a different shirt. I try shirt #2. She is still bawling. I decide to take her to school and hubby take Big Bro and Twins. This puts Big Bro in a fit. He wanted me to drop them off. I promise to pick him up later today and to do scooter to school tomorrow. He didn’t get any help from me during dress time [he doesn’t need my help but he likes the attention] since I was spending so much time with Red. All of this was happening while my Admin was on speakerphone working with me to cancel/reschedule the 8 AM call. Too funny. What a collision between work and home. These collisions I always find interesting but a bit stressful.
  • I try to leave with Red and it is hard with her shoes, her lunchbox, and now she is bawling about the little red reindeer stuffed animal. You’ve got to be kidding me. Big Bro is in the doorway crying about how I’m not dropping him off. I can’t do much about this now but I will try to make their evening special in some way. Plus I need to give the Twins some time too….. hmmmmm.
  • Red drop off at pre-school was not easy. Clinging. Pouting. I made her laugh on several occasions but it wasn’t enough to turn her mood around. I left with her being held by her teacher, her bawling and reaching out to me, and me prying her little fingers off of my jacket. Uggggh.

So, now I’m on the ferry. It’s like groundhog day. I feel like I had two mornings. And it hasn’t gone particularly well so far. Plus I’m hungry. I had barely a dinner last night (beer and bread) so I guess I’m a bit sluggish too. Plus tired from being woken up in the middle of the night.

Work will go well today. I will have several meetings and hopefully the consultant who I enlisted to help me with my client deliverable will turn around something EXCELLENT for me. I’ve heard a lot of great things about him and how dependable he is so hopefully he gives me back something good. It will make my new work arrangement that much easier if we finally have people we can rely upon to do the heavy lifting of project work. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Highlights of My Working Day:
It was a sort-of productive day, and I felt good being in the office and interacting with people.

  • I had three different 1:1 debrief conference calls for the two forums I am managing. Again, great ideas and feedback from the participants.
  • I also started to think through the organization of the Spring meetings – I sent out “Save the Date” information to all of the participants from both forums…. i still need to close out loose ends from the last meeting though…. I will need to focus on that next week.
  • I spent some time thinking through the client deliverable and am looking forward to getting the work from the consultant who is helping me. I will work on that draft tomorrow at home during my half-day and **hopefully** I will feel good about that first draft.

I’m on the ferry now headed home to pick up the kids. They almost feel like strangers to me since I didn’t see them last night and this morning was very fragmented and rushed. I’m looking forward to getting “re-acquainted” with them.

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Tonight went smoothly – I did the pickups and decided to pick up Red first to give her some extra alone time with me. Dinner prep was fine; the trick I find is to keep the kids occupied. Especially now that the younger ones are starting to fight with the older ones. I had Big Bro and Red put up stick-up decorations on our windows around the house. This worked well.

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  • I broke my rule about “one meal” at dinner tonight. Usually I have the kids eat whatever we are eating, but that meant left-over stew that I knew would not be a hit. So they had home-made mac-n-cheese. The funny part was when Twin Husky started to dive into the stew, “caveman” style.

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  • We then finished putting lights up along the banister which was fun but a bit daunting. It really is impossible to keep two 22 month olds away from little white lights, especially when the lights are within reach of their little hands.

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  • The biggest milestone of the evening was when TWIN CRAZY WENT PEE-PEE FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME IN A LITTLE POTTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG I cannot believe it. When I started to change her, I realized that her diaper was sort of dry so I figured there MUST be some pee-pee in there. I asked her if she wanted to try and she ran to the door. We all gathered in and sat with her. Red even held her hand. She switched from two different little potties and was “talking” the whole time and I didn’t even realize it but lo and behold…. I saw a bit of a discoloration… and upon further investigation I realized that YES, my little pumpkin girl, my little Twin who was born at 6 pounds 5 ounces nearly 22 months ago, ACTUALLY PUT A LITTLE TEENY TEENY bit of pee-pee in there. OMG it was great. She helped me dump it in the toilet, and she flushed herself, and we all sat there and said good-bye to it as it was flushed away. We were all cheering and clapping and excited and all of us got an ice-cream treat and also I gave her extra M&Ms for going to the potty. I told her that we are so proud of her and love her so much and if she continues to go, each time she will get a treat and an M&M. She was so proud of herself. The look on her face. She started laughing and jumping and she then DID NOT WANT ME to put a diaper on her for bedtime. OMG she is not a baby anymore. She is a girl. My little girl. Big Bro drew a picture for her because he was so proud of her.

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So today was a bit dicey at first, but ended up great, and is certainly a day that I hope to never forget.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

October 15: My flower girls are princesses


It’s been awhile since I posted anything so here are some updates from the past several days:

* Thursday. travel day. all kids did great. It feels great to be back at my dad’s house with everyone.
* Friday. took the kids to the park. beautiful. lots of egrets and ducks. stunning scenery. Rehearsal for wedding. Twin Crazy and Red are flower girls. They did great. Twin Husky made his way up to the stage and jumped and danced and laughed. He is such a ham. Rehearsal dinner: lots of meat. Ribs, chicken, steak. Twin Husky kept carrying around rib bones. He also kept wandering out of the private party room with bones in hand.
* Saturday. Wedding day. Me, dad, brother, Big Bro and Red ran errands. Came back and tried to nap. Got big bag packed. Raced to wedding to get the kids ready.
* I loved turning my little girls into princesses. I loved putting on their jewelry, fixing their hair, putting on their dresses, and encouraging them. I love them so much it hurts. I am so proud of them.
* They walked down the isle PERFECTLY. They did not shed one tear, they walked with determination and received a lot of cute replies from the crowd. They gleefully took my hands at the top of the isle and I gave them the candy I promised them.
* The bride looked stunning. During the ceremony there was a candle and Twin Crazy kept saying “HOT. HOT”. and blowing like she was going to blow out the candle.
* After the bride and groom, and wedding party walked down the isle after the ceremony, I held the hands of each of my little princesses and walked them out of the church. On the way out Twin Crazy kept saying “All done… All done….” and again received chuckles from the crowd.

I am so proud of my little sweeties. They both are stunningly beautiful, Red with her fiery red ringlets and Twin Crazy with her big dark eyes and flower clip in her hair. I am so proud of them – they did so great. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I am so happy to be their mom. I am so happy I had the chance to experience this with them. I love them so much that it hurts. They are just so cute and damn adorable.

I will post more pictures when I get myself organized, but for now, here’s a taste for what is to come. My littlest princess catching some sleep outside of the reception. Yes, I am in the parking lot with her and could not bear to wake her up. Missing out on some of the wedding reception is a sacrifice I am happily willing to make – so that she can catch up on her sleep and get some energy so she can party inside….. my sweetheart.

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