(Here he is answering questions on stage.)
(Here is Jude, standing confidently on stage.)
(Here is the preschool class performing.)
(Here are the kids from K5 performing.)
Yesterday morning Jude woke up in a bad mood. He didn't want to do anything except cry and ask 'where's Daddy?' We had his school Halloween party to attend, but he cried and begged me not to go. Each class had been practicing all week to sing a Halloween song on stage. Jude said over and over that he was scared and didn't want to do it. He said his tummy hurt, and he said he was nervous because he didn't know how to sing the song right. I thought about staying home and giving in to him, but I decided to tough it out and make him go. So, the kid fussed all the way there. He begged me not to make him go. But, I talked to him and told him I would be there watching him. I told him that sometimes you just have to do things that are scary.
When we got there, I walked him on stage and his teacher took him behind the curtain. By the way, he refused to wear his Batman mask and cape, but he did wear the other part of the costume.
Battle #1 won: I got him there. Battle #2 won: I got him to wear part of the costume.
When the curtain came up, Jude stood proudly on stage. He sang his little heart out. Granted, he didn't do any of the hand movements or gestures, but he did sing. Most of the kids just stood there like deer in the headlights...scared, bug-eyed and crying. But, not my kiddo. He sang with gusto. Then, when the teacher asked him his name, age and costume using a microphone, he answered appropriately. I was scared to death he was going to scream an obscenity or just pick his nose and fart. But, the kid actually delivered the goods. He did exactly what he was supposed to do on cue. And, he didn't cry!! It was my proudest mommy moment so far!
The kid was so seriously frightened in the morning. So much so that his tummy hurt, and he begged me not to go. But, through perseverance and force, the kid made it through the event with shining colors. Once he got off stage, I grabbed him and hugged and kissed him. I told him just how proud I was of him for doing something that scared him. I told him he was brave. I told him that he did everything just perfectly and that mommy was so super proud. He, too, was proud of himself.
He told me, "I did it mommy, and I didn't even cry!"
He said, "I sang my song with my big voice...did you hear it?"
"I heard it baby, and you sounded great!" I said.
"I'm so proud of you!" I told him.
Battle #3 won: he got on stage and sang!
I'm so glad I stuck it out yesterday. I was incredibly tempted to just stay home. I wanted to cave into him. I was tired of hearing him cry and fuss. But, I knew I just couldn't let the kid win. I knew that I couldn't let him have control of the situation. I saw that moment in his life a turning point. In my mind, I could see a 28 year old fat hairy Jude still living at home never wanting to leave or take a step outside all because I never made him face his fears at 3 years old. All because I caved into him. All because of this...and I just couldn't let that happen.
It's hard to hear your baby cry and fuss for hours over something. You just want to help them and end their tears. But, sometimes no matter what, you have to do what you know is best for them...no matter how much it hurts you. And, yesterday...it worked...it was a success. I'm so thankful for that!