So, it was an interesting night to say the least.
It started with deciding at the very last minute to take Katie as well. We hadn’t been going to do that and she was a little bummed but then the mommy guilt got to me and I changed my mind. We had a minor fight with Owen about what costume he was wearing—we bought him Squirtle because he really wanted to be Squirtle…and instead he wanted to wear some random skeleton costume with a mask (they aren’t supposed to wear masks) so we said he needed to wear his new costume.
On our way…
Every year thus far, Owen has had a sudden onset of shyness or nervousness when we approach the school for the festival but it was never anything bad or lasting—we’d just walk in and he’d be glued to our sides for about three minutes until he saw all the fun going on and saw his friends…and all was forgotten and he had a great time.
Except this year. He COMPLETELY freaked out and wouldn’t even set foot in the building. At first we thought it was just his normal routine, but when we tried to coerce him in, he refused. REFUSED. And got visibly upset. We tried to be nice and loving and that didn’t work. We tried tough love and that didn’t work. After 10 minutes or so, I went in with Katie and Tom stayed in the hallway waiting to see if Owen would come in the building. I talked to his teacher and she tried to get him to come in. Nope. A few of his friends went out to try and get him to come in. Nope. I tried again. Nope. It was absolutely maddening. He had a whole litany of reasons he didn’t want to come in, the biggest of which was he hated his costume, it was stupid, and he knew everyone would laugh at him and he’d be embarrassed. It didn’t matter that everyone who saw him said they loved it (I mean, Pokemon is ALL the rage!) and people had heard about the Squirtle costume and were LOOKING FOR HIM.
He also said there were too many people and they’d all be looking at him. What? The kid who has no problems (anymore) of speaking in a group in front of an assembly? The kid that everyone seems to know and like? The kid who loves people? I was gobsmacked.
It didn’t matter what anyone said. He was NOT coming in and he was in full meltdown mode.
In the midst of this, I was with Katie playing the games and getting her face painted and she was having an absolute blast. (The face painter was Miss Anne, the assistant in Katie’s classroom that she also had last year and is a friend of ours.)
Putting her name on her treat bag!
Picking a sucker for a prize! (Bonus: notice that they reused my signs from last year?!)
With our neighbor, Jackson (first grade).
Getting her picture taken.
Then Tom texted me to say he was DONE because he had just had to chase Owen down because he ran off. What the hell?! So we went out again for me to try talking to Owen—at this point he was actually in the building quite a ways so I thought I would have more luck, but nope, he was still refusing to come in to the festival. And when I tried to coerce him in again, he literally turned and ran away down the hall. Some older kids saw his costume and came up and told him how awesome it was. Nope, still not moving. Still thought his costume was embarrassing. By this point I was just done (he’d been out there for almost an hour) and told him we were done—he was either going in or we were both going to sit in the car until daddy and Katie were done. Which is exactly what we ended up doing.
So, Tom had switched places with me and had taken Katie in to the cafeteria to dance…where she had even more fun! It would have been even more fun if we were all there together. Ugh.
A bunch of snippets of Katie dancing…and frolicking!
So, overall, Katie had an absolute blast, Tom and I had fun when we were each with Katie, and the rest was a hot failed mess dealing with Owen. We have NO idea where this all came from or why it was so traumatizing for him. Of course, now we’re worried that something else more serious is going on that we don’t know about or he hasn’t told us about…