Friday, January 18, 2008

the playdate headache

I've discovered a new type of headache. It's somewhere between a tension headache and a full-on migraine: the playdate headache. Don't mistake me, it was great to see K, my very beloved friend and little MK. But the Bird was more upset than I've ever seen her.

She's really afraid of loud small dogs- Dharma's large and has a deep bark that really is only heard when someone pulls into the driveway. K has two small dogs that are really yippy-loud but very gentle and sweet. Molly was so terrified it broke my heart. She was alright once we gated the playroom and kept them out, but the poor thing cried in a frightened, hysterical way that I've never seen before. I guess I just try to go again and get her used to it, but Gods- it kills to see her so scared.

 The sharing issue was worse than ever last night, too. I'm sure she was just on edge from the doggy phobia but she cried a whole different new kind of cry that was crazy angry and just utterfly freaked when MK touched any toys near Molly. The whole experience seemed to just be total overload. Like it was just more than she could take to be in a place with scary creatures and also be asked to act more grown-up than she is.

I know it's normal and she's way to young to grok sharing, but what do I do?  She seems so miserable and distraught that I just want to bring her home where she can resume Supreme Empress of The Universe status and no one touches her stash, and only one quiet large smart dog lives.

What does one do with toddlers? Should I hover and enforce sharing or let them duke it out and let Darwinism decide who gets the tea cup and the softest dolly? I'm trying a mix of all this, and segregating some toys. When cousin-to-be-maybe-Katie came here it worked pretty well to tell Molly that Katie's blankie is a no-sharing toy just like Molly's Curious George. I didn't really try that tack with MK this time.

I hate that I'm so relieved to bring my little delicate dispositioned kid home after these play times. It might be that her peers are all older, but she seems so mush more sensitive and fussy than they are. I feel like I'm "rescuing" her from bullies- but that's not the case; these are very sweet kids who do share pretty well. Maybe she'll play better if we get to see m'Ello this weekend. They are only one month apart; Molly's older. I really want to spend time with my mama friends (craving it!) and we need to get our kids used to socializing, but it's a stressful endeavor sometimes. Thoughts? Suggestions? Pain relievers?

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