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.