Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm Never Leaving the House Again

Lately I've noticed that Bunny is perfectly content to stay at home in her pjs all day. She wants to play with the horses (the dinos haven't come out of their cave in a few days), dance to the Bushel and Peck song, paint and color with markers. If this were the sum total of her world she would be content.

Of course there would be the occasional forays to Ama and Baca's house and to Starbucks. Because that is fun. If I mention we have music class or play date. She says "no I wanna stay home". We still go out, but she's not really happy to leave. She's fine once she's out, its just the leaving that's hard. This is probably due to the influx of new stuff from Christmas, Hanaukkah and her birthday. There is so much to play with that she really doesn't get bored.

But some of it is also that new kids hold no interest for her. She will play with the kids at music class and play group because she knows them. But story time and other activities don't really go over too well. She even wants to skip her beloved open gym time because there are too many kids.

So what's a mom to do? I am considering forcing the issue and sending her to pre-school/day care one morning a week. This is something I never would have done a year ago but I think she needs to be around other kids on a more regular basis. It would help prepare her for pre-school in the fall.

But this decision is causing me some anxiety because I know it will cause her some. Trips to the gym daycare have resulted in so much crying that I have been summoned from my work out to comfort her. While I know this would only be temporary, that she would get over it, it still makes me reconsider the whole plan.

So faithful readers, what would you do in this situation?


Anonymous said...

I would have to say go with your first instinct to socialize her more. The SAME THING happened to my kids, more than once actually. They get overwhelmed in a crowd. Which is fine, some people never really like large groups of people, but she needs to the skills to to deal with it anyway! I have found that a strict routine, constant reassurance and telling them or even showing them exactly where I am helps. It also helps to give them something tangible they can measure, whether its the clock, or right after you finish coloring is when I come back and reiterate that you will be there no matter what at that time. Then, don't be late! haha! Its hard, but its a phase, and I can guarantee you she will go through it again. Sydney did at 6 years old!!!
Good Luck!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Personally - I wouldn't push preschool if she's happy with her current socializing. She's playing with other kids - so what does it matter if she's known them for a while? It's not like siblings - so she's being "social." I would stick with the kids she knows and the settings that she knows so time with other kids is fun and not stressful for her. Maybe mix it up by inviting kids from her classes over for play dates. Or meet them at Bunny's favorite spots. She's really young and there is nothing wrong with being a little shy or introverted. If you're already getting her out there to spend time with other kids - then I think that's good enough for now.

So that's my advice - increase her social time, but keep it familiar. Same friends and/or same venues. Always have something familiar involved to create a reasonable comfort zone. She'll have to start preschool soon enough. In what? 9 months? There's no rush.

Anonymous said...

We went through the same thing with The Midge at about the same age. I started taking her to the drop-in daycare at the gym while I worked out and she'd throw a fit. But then she was watching a Sesame Street episode about making new friends and I started referring to the drop-in daycare as the "new friends" place and she suddenly got over it. To this day, she still refers to the drop-in daycare as "new friends."

I think the key is just to give it time and reassure her that meeting new kids is a good thing.

anymommy said...

Hard. I'd probably stick with the level of activity you have now and see if it's a phase that passes in the next few months. They are doing more activities where I don't stay with them now, but when we were in a similar phase, we talked about how they could always come and sit with me if they felt like things were 'crazy.'