- Ben and Lily has their first ever preschool field trip. I really thought this was no big deal - well, that is was a big milestone, but that they would have no problem with it. From the photos, it looks like they had a great time...
They went to the California Theater in Sunnyvale to see a production of Cinderella. Have I mentioned that Ben is getting to an age where he loves that he is a boy? That he has learned (even though we try not to gender stereo-type, etc.) that boys don't like princesses? (Pssst - he secretly does like princesses, but he learned this little "rule" somewhere - probably preschool - so tries to keep up with the crowd). So he heard we were going to see Cinderella and he said "No. I don't want to. I want to see Star Wars. I'm not going. NEVER!" We went anyway, of course. He was fine before we attempted to walk in the door of the theater. Then - the "NEVER!" resumed. I tried to talk him into how great it was going to be and how there other things in the play besides princesses, etc. It almost didn't happen. I wasn't supposed to stay for the play (I had planned on doing some work), but I ended up changing my plans. Such is life with kids! He finally was persuaded to come into the theater when I told him that Justin, his best friend from school, was probably looking for him and wanted Ben to come sit by him. We went in, he LOVED the play, as did Lily. The play was really funny and well suited for kids' age. The "crow sisters" (evil step-sisters) were hilarious and the kids were all talking about them as we filed out of the theater into the lobby.
Ben was happily one of the first ones out of the theater and headed for the door. I think it would have been fine if I had know beforehand that we weren't going outside immediately, but instead were staying in the lobby to meet the cast (have I mentioned that my kids are deathly afraid of people in costume? AKKK!). But since I wasn't supposed to be a working mom in the class today, I didn't know this piece of information, so I had to drag Ben back into the lobby from the door leading outside the theater to that lovely fountain in the sun. Ben was not happy at all about this turn of events and let it be known. He threw an absolute tantrum and refused to stay by the other kids. He ran off around the side of the theater, wailing. Since it was a field trip, I kept telling him that we all needed to stay together. To no avail. Poor Lily felt really bad for him and couldn't seem to enjoy herself either - she came and brought him a snack and sat by him. I finally had to leave early, with Ben (and myself) crying to the car all the way there. I couldn't believe how upset I got as well, but you just never know what will bring everyone to tears sometimes. I think for me it had a lot to do with just not expecting this to be difficult at all and then feeling pressure of everyone else's kids doing great on the field trip and why do I have to have the problem kid? Also, I was supposed to be working and so felt unfocused and exhausted when it came to figuring out how to deal with the situation. Looking back, I can see all kinds of things I would do differently. Then again, hindsight is 20-20 and sometimes things just throw me for a loop.
So I'll try to remember the good part of their first field trip - Ben and Lily's laughter at the crow sisters, Ben holding Justin's hand before the play outside, and Lily playing by the fountain. And, I know that even though these guys seem really big and grown up these days, they are still just little kids for whom new experiences can sometimes bring unexpected reactions. Hey - that still happens to me!