Thursday, October 29, 2009
We're Having A Party! And A Meltdown!
Today is the first demonstration of my co-room-parent abilities. Today, the other mom and I go in and do the Harvest Party. This is the first time I've encountered parental competition. Should we change our plans because the other class did this or that? Are we doing enough? Should we make it more exciting? Thankfully, my co-parent is on the same page as I am. We put together our ideas, we came up with our plan, and we are sticking to it. We aren't focusing on what anyone gets but instead on what kind of themed fun we can have. We will open the par-tay (and this is for 3, 4, and 5 year olds) with some Upside Down Apple Bobbing. Instead of apples floating in water, we will have apple slices dangling from dental floss and grown ups will be "fishing" for kids. We figure it's a way to get a little food in them first (the party starts around snack time) and also start off with some silly fun. I've got apples, a knife, and dental floss ready to go! Second activity is mini-square dancing. Nothing terribly difficult. I'm going to line the kids up facing each other. We will march in place to the music, learn a little do-si-do and promenade. I stayed up until 11:30 last night grabbing music off Rhapsody. Started out with Cotton Eyed Joe and ended up finding some great fiddle music and some bluegrass and country tunes from my own childhood. I loaded extra music on the CD because I figure we can use it during other activities. Next we move on to a team-relay pumpkin head activity. Co-mom has these plastic face parts, similar to Mr Potato Head, that are for pumpkins. We have 3 sets of complete faces and 3 pumpkins. I'm pre-setting some holes on them to make it a little easier. The teams will take turns picking a face part and then putting it on the pumpkin. We should end up with 3 silly pumpkins! We have coloring sheets and a special book to read. Final activity is putting together a snack mix. We have all the ingredients. Each child will BE an ingredient and also collect ingredients. We have large bags of items, scoops, and bags for each child. They control what items go in their bags. And it's a nice symbolic activity of it taking the whole group to create the snack. I think the kids will have fun. Except maybe mine. She is, right now, in her room, screaming and crying. I wish I could tell you what set her off. It was somewhere between getting cereal and getting dressed. Jeff and I have both had to walk away as the anger bubbles and bubbles. I am so tired of this. So, so tired. These meltdowns have to stop. It is becoming a greater and greater challenge for me to find a calm place from which to deal with her. I am frustrated that this child has the ability to destroy family days, days off, party days, fun times. I wish I could maintain a mindset that we are somehow allowing her to act this way. I wish I could identify the triggers and fix it. I wish I knew what to do. But I am starting to feel like she is wrecking any semblance of happiness in our home. Jeff and I are still managing to find humor in the meltdowns. We still manage to stand together. And I think that's the most important part. But I'm not sure how much longer my sanity can bear these temper tantrums. So Happy Harvest Party Day. I'm feeling pressure to have a great party, guilt because I don't want to be around my child right now, guilt because I can't make it better and don't have the desire or energy to go soothe her or calm her down or comfort her, frustration because of the screaming and crying and crying, anger because of how each day seems to contain some aspect of her drama, fear that this will never end... I want to be her soft place... I do... Jeff and I both do... but she makes it so very, very difficult. And then I feel guilty all over again.