Today I made a monumental mistake with our middle child Lois. She had been invited to a birthday party at a local leisure centre which we have been to a number of times and I had mistakenly assumed it was a bouncy castle party, the same as all the others we had been to at that venue. She was already a bit nervous about going as it was a friend from her swimming lessons so we knew she wouldn’t know anyone else at the party as they go to different schools. I had reassured her though that I would stay for the duration of the party and it would be fun. We strolled in looking forward to the afternoon ahead and went into the party room. No bouncy castle. It was a disco. And I saw the look of panic cross her face.
You see our Lois is a very sensitive little thing. She has a heart of gold and is full of compassion way beyond her years. She works hard at school and is strong in so many ways. But she is also a fragile little thing. She can get so upset if she feels embarrassed or unsure of something. She hates dancing because it makes her feel self conscious and she hates party games as she feels like people are looking at her and judging her when she takes her turn. A disco with party games is her idea of a worst nightmare. And I’d unwittingly just walked her straight into exactly that. Epic mum fail. Immediately I knew this wasn’t going to go well, especially as none of her usual friends were there. I felt terrible because I knew how frightened she was feeling, because when I was her age, I felt exactly the same.
The birthday girl’s parents were lovely and tried so hard to make Lois feel welcome, introducing her to other children and asking if she wanted to dance with them or have her face painted. Unfortunately this instead caused her to erupt into floods of tears as she really didn’t want to dance and hates face paint but also didn’t want to come across as rude saying no. I really should have checked instead of assuming what sort of party it was so I could have prepared her better. She did enjoy herself though. Like me, she is happy to sit hidden away at the back and observe.
It isn’t the first time we’ve had tears over the last week or so. Last weekend I stood with her in Jessops for an hour and 20 minutes before she would agree to sit and have her passport photo taken. Seriously. A passport photo. We had already attempted the weekend before to use a photo booth which led to the most horrendous meltdown I have ever seen her have because she was so frightened of it. After several other attempts during the week, including taking my own photo of her at home (which got refused by the post office) I explained to her that we had no other choice but to get it done in Jessops if she wouldn’t go in a photo booth. Of course we got to the shop and panic set in again so more tears . She didn’t want to ‘not smile’ because to a sensitive little thing like her it was wrong to not smile for a photo and she thought people would think she was weird. The poor bloke in the shop didn’t know how to handle us and with the shop so busy on a Saturday morning as well he ended up giving me the camera to take the photo of her myself. It was the only way she was going to have it done. We now finally have a passport photo and thankfully the post office has accepted it.
To my sensitive, strong, brave, beautiful, happy little girl. Never stop being you. There is nothing you need to be ashamed of. Ever. You are perfect just the way you are, tears, stubbornness, quirky fears and all. Love you to the moon and back, Mummy xx
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