Monday, April 27, 2009

Two and elephants

S is 2. She hated her birthday party. She wouldn't open gifts, ate cake only when fed to her in a quieter part of the house. Held back tears as we sang happy birthday. I think I put her down all of 5 minutes all day. During those 5 minutes I could hear her sadly mewing "where mommy? where mommy?" It was all of a sudden August in April- in the 90s, humid. I was torn between my original plan to have us eat outside and the fact that it was uncomfortably hot. I mistakenly ran this indecision by my mother, who will choose to be outside even if its 150 degrees and humid with a chance of fire and brimstone. Yes, that acorn falls right next to the tree. I made the party, which had already started to feel more like a hostage situation, sit outside. Of course, I was not outside uncomfortable because I was inside trying to finish making the lunch. Of which S had none of. S also refused to sit outside, even once I was able to join the rest in hell. Those there who did not want to be sitting outside (I think it was 50/50) projected their discomfort onto S, "She's just hot." It took me a while, but I eventually figured out, she was just trying to escape her party.

Once we released the hostages, many hours later, S perked up to her usual self, enjoyed the gifts, chattered non stop, and ate everything in sight.

S did receive a couple of elephants for her birthday. Have I mentioned the scary elephants? S's elephant phobia has gotten out of hand. It freaks me out that I can narrow her fear down to a species. The other day S was hiding from me, a new favorite game, she went into H's room and closed the door. Then she shrieked. I opened the door and she was crying pointing at a plush elephant on H's shelf. This scene has played out different times with different elephants (I had no idea I had so many elephants in the house) I'm trying to address the fear with out supporting the fear. I hate to think of S tip toeing around our elephant laden house waiting for them to jump out at her at any moment, but I know I must apply the dog in the thunder storm theory of not rewarding the fear.

The whole thing makes me feel like I really screwed up. The other day on the phone with Lefty I had an epiphany, well, she had the epiphany, I am an epiphany plagiarist. I was lamenting over S's fear of elephants, and then segued into S's general fear of DVDs, and continued babbling about how I thought the DVD fear was a result from S watching Horton Hears a Who. Lefty quietly, patiently said "Horton's an elephant." Right. Add this to the mounding list of things that are all my fault.


Left of Ordinary said...

Sorry to hear the party was a bit of a bust for S, but at least she had fun afterwards. Isn't it crazy how different your 2 girls are? I see that a tonne in mine. It always blows my mind.

Katydid said...

At least that one points out (and makes you notice) the big elephant in the middle of the room. More than one can say about the rest of us who just tiptoe around it!