Let Down

Today was much anticipated by Clarabelle.  A school mate of hers was going to come over to play after school.  Clarabelle woke up this morning as if it was Christmas.  She said she couldn’t believe it was finally Friday, that she thought today would never come.  I was excited for her and when I dropped her off at school I gave her a big hug and told her I was looking forward to the afternoon too.

Then.  An email.  Billy’s mom was sad to tell me that her son was home sick.  That he had woke up asking if he could still go to Clarabelle’s.  She realized that he was too sick to do so. *gulp*

This is where I fight myself over how I parent.  If this were me as a child I would have been told that my friend was sick and we’ll reschedule.  End of story.  No coddling, no analyzing.  Get over it and go play.  I don’t feel like I can do this.  All afternoon I’ve been thinking about how to break this to Clarabelle.  She was planning on waiting in front of her class for her friend and they were going to walk home together.  Instead, I need to go pick her up and tell her.  I told Fish we should take her to Chuck E. Cheese to play some games and have an after school snack, but then that started to seem so excessive.  Life is full of disappointments right?  We need to learn to move on without a parade of sorts.  I think.

Tonight is family game night and I need to pick up a new game at Target and I’ll also be making a special dessert.  I decided that maybe I could take Clarabelle with me, have her help me choose the game and maybe get some yogurt on the way home.  I think that is reasonable.  Why am I over thinking this so much?

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5 thoughts on “Let Down

  1. As I read that it was family game night and you need to pick up a new game I thought – take just her with you – which is exactly what you thought of. Great minds think alike? I’m flattering myself. 😛

    Maybe also she can help make the dessert?

    I think as parents we want to protect our kids from any hurts, especially ones we’ve experienced because we can relate just that much more. But we can’t always protect so, naturally, we try to soften the blow or redirect or something; which can good, but it is very easy to go overboard on the making things better bits.

    I agree disappointments are a fact of life, and while we can soften the blow of it as much as we can, we also need to let some of it sink in. Right?

  2. YES! You’re saying exactly what I’m thinking. I know it’s sad, but I think that it’s important for kids to learn how to work through these feelings. I think I just worry about finding that happy medium between empathy and letting her work it out.

    Thanks for the input, it makes me feel like I’m on the right track 🙂

  3. I think letting CB choose the game with you (and maybe getting yogurt) is a good compromise between Chuck E. Cheese and “He can’t come. Get over it.” 🙂 I hate it when Annalie gets disappointed too, and I’m definitely more likely to let her have a treat when it happens.

  4. Oh, I wanted to add something and forgot because Annalie distracted me with helping her build a fort! While I might let Annalie have a little treat when she’s been disappointed through no fault of her own, I definitely am conscious of wanting her to learn how to handle disappointment. I’ve known way too many kids who threw tantrums at the slightest disappointment when they were CB’s age or older because they never learned how to handle it as a kid. I make a point of saying, “Not right now,” or “Not today,” to Annalie sometimes when she asks for things like candy at the store or for me to play a game with her while I’m making dinner. I figure those small disappointments will help her handle the bigger ones down the road. And when she is disappointed, I definitely let her know I am sorry she’s feeling that way, because disappointment sucks, but I don’t dwell on it. I talk about what we’ll do another time that will be fun, or something like that. Redirect her thoughts from the present disappointment to future fun. 🙂

  5. I circumvent disappointment – and would probably have gone for the – I guess over-the-top – dinner out! My reasoning – you were expecting something fun and different, so… But I’m sure you were right to tone it down. I suspect that I feel my child’s pain worse that she does, if that makes sense, so want to kind of protect myself from seeing it!! So – upshot: in my opinion, totaly normal to want to spoil a little when something eagerly anticipated goes awry.

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