If any of you out there are also parenting an anxious child...God luv ya!! It is EXHAUSTING!!! I am not talking the run of the mill kid that gets anxious before a doctor's appointment. This is more the generalized anxiety about life in general. I am only 4 and a half years in but man...it is tough to always think 10 steps ahead and try to anticipate what will trigger a bout of nerves. I am usually pretty good at it but the past 24 hours I have dropped the ball. Here are two examples...
Last night Sara and I were in my bed watching TV...yes, I said my bed. The poor bugga is still plagued by nightmares from that flippin movie Chimpanzee. She had one where I was climbing a tree to get some fruit and a gorilla came and ate me and then another where I was cooking dinner on a scary night and someone came in our house. Normally I would go into her room to calm her down, but I am on the injured list. Anna got a bad foot infection and when I took her to the doctors she freaked when she was supposed to get on the scale. I had to suffer the ultimate humiliation and get on the scale alone and then with her. To add injury to insult Anna did that awesome toddler trick of throwing herself back when I was holding her causing me to rip my neck muscles in half and rendering me unable to climb the bunk bed ladder at 2 a.m. to quell a nightmare. How is that for ironic...at work I am able to get kids that up until 10 minutes before were strangers to cooperate for painful, invasive procedures...and I can't get my kid to cooperate and get on a scale. Lovely.
So back to the story..we were watching TV and a commercial comes on for a cell phone. The mom and daughter are crying hysterically because the girl is going to college. Sara asks why they are crying so I tell her. Then the questions start...what is college? why does she have to go? why is the mom sad? I swear I never saw this coming..."WHAT? YOU HAVE TO LIVE AT COLLEGE?" It all went downhill from there. It was a good half hour of me getting peppered with a million questions. I tried the "you can ask 1 more question and then we are done talking about it" only to get ambushed 2 minutes later with "mom, I am not going to ask you about when I go to college...but when Anna goes...". So it ended with me agreeing to drive her to and from college everyday and promising that I will never make her sleep there. I even went the whole "college is awesome, you can go to parties every night if you want" angle but nope, she wants me to send her college teachers a message so they know that she doesn't have to sleep there.
She did bring it up briefly this morning but she got over it quick as she was yelling at me for breaking another promise. She wanted to make pancake pops for Anna since she wasn't feeling well. Well, Anna came in the kitchen and ruined the surprise and somehow that was my fault...just like yesterday when I promised them ice-cream, the 1st place only took cash so we went to another place down the street instead. Again, I broke my promise because we didn't get ice-cream at Pirate's Cove. I am a terrible mom.
Anyway...I digress, back to the anxiety at hand. So we were having a delightful lunch today, it was bright and sunny and the girls were in a great mood. Sara announced she knew how to say chocolate milk in Spanish (I try to repeat words in Spanish for them so they will have some vocabulary. I would love to take them to Spain in a few years so they can meet all my family and friends over there). I said Muy Bien! Now if you are ever in Spain and you want a drink you can ask for your favorite. She asked how to say white milk. Then the questions started...what if I have to go to the bathroom? how do I say that? what if I want to ride a swing? What if I am hungry? Keep in mind she is now not asking out of curiosity, she is starting to panic. I tell her that is she goes to Spain I will be there with her, not to worry. Well, mom what if we are there and you won't tell me in English? 50% of me was so proud of her at that moment...she knows me so well. For kicks that IS something I would do. I think if I recall clearly...I may not have translated for Chuck when we went to Spain. I mean how else do you learn? The other 50% really felt bad for her being so worried over nothing. I again, promised that I would stay right with her and help her speak Spanish if we do go on vacation in Spain. I am almost positive if we do go 5 years from now, I will forget to translate one word for her and she will go on a tirade about me breaking another promise.
That is just one day in the life of an anxious child.
Maybe for college I should send her to the University of Barcelona?!