So this week has been. Rough.
I promised no heaviness, but I lied.
I didn't know I was lying, but it turns out I was.
You see, my child is driving me crazy.
And perhaps you can help me. I need to know if I am just being a first-time mother who has no clue about preschooler behavior, and expects things from a little guy who just can't deliver. Well, that last part has already happened.
My son is afraid of everything.
Oh, it started off simply. Afraid of the dark. Ha, good one kid, I've got that one covered. Lots of kids are afraid of the dark.
Then we progressed to soccer class, which was taken a while back. What I neglected to say about soccer was that Mr. Personality refused to go on the field by himself. Ok, so I thought, I'll just kind of stand on the sidelines. No, it turned into he must hold onto my pant leg at all times and will not move forward unless I move forward. Basically, it turned out that I took soccer class, too. For free, since I only paid for him. I pleaded, I cajoled, I attempted to bribe. Nothing worked. The entire last class was spent on the sidelines with him crying and me trying to get him to run out on the field with every other child.
Turns out Mr. Personality is also afraid to move about the house by himself. If I tell him to go to his room and get a book or toy, he will not go unless accompanied. Ditto with the bathroom. Let me tell you, we do not have a very large house, and most of the time you could throw a wadded up piece of paper and hit someone very easily. But the fact that you can see my shadow pretty much anywhere in the house does nothing to assuage him.
Crowds? Forget it. They make him uncomfortable. Preschool? An absolute refusal to be dropped off and left by himself, although we haven't tried it yet. He won't even consider to agree to consider the idea. Parks? He won't go on the equipment unless someone goes with him.
And take today. Today, in front of dozens and dozens of people, I was probably branded "Worst Mother in the Known Universe" by at least a two thirds majority.
My mother and I took Mr. Personality to a local train/railroading fair that is held annually. As it turns out, they had one of the original Disneyland Railroad Steam Engines, which had been taken out of the Disneyland for the first time ever to be at this event. I asked Mr. Personality if he wanted to go on the train and pull the bell and make it whistle. Affirmative. So we wait in line for 45 minutes, and the second we get up to the very front of the line, Mr. Personality reminds me that he is three. Wailing, screaming, refusing to go on. I am thinking that I just spent 45 minutes of my life waiting to get on the dang thing, and we are getting on. So I pick him up as he is grabbing my shirt and snotting into it, without breaking a beat of the crying fit. I am figuring that once we get up there, he will be distracted by the dials and pumps and buttons. No, he refuses to even get near the kindly old conductor who is trying to show him things, practically pulling my shirt off me and giving the crowd a free show of an entirely different kind.
I wound up pulling the bell rope, and I wound up making the train whistle, because I was going to make it somewhat worth my while. They were letting people go on for as long as they wanted, and we were on for all of perhaps three minutes. I'm definitely rounding up.
As soon as we get off, even more wailing commences when I tell him in my least motherly voice, "Well buddy, you blew that one."
I think I should just by myself a T-shirt and announce my shortcomings to the world. That way, they know in advance that I am horrible about pushing my child to do things he doesn't want to do.
I just don't know what to do, and I am at my wit's end with his clinginess. I'm not sure I was designed to have a barnacle attatched to me at all hours of the day. He didn't used to act this way, when he was a toddler he would take off and care less how far I was behind him. Around his third birthday, these seemingly irrational fears took hold and haven't let loose.
I am almost ready to speak with a doctor about it. Am I just being an insensitive mother? I am torn between increasing his fear by pushing him versus encouraging it by playing to it. I am at a complete loss. Has this happened to anyone else?