Today was all about play-dates, and this is all about baby girls 1st play date.
Baby girl had a school friend over to play today. She was very excited as this was her 1st play date. I hadn’t structured any particular activity because unlike her older sisters baby girl has a brilliant imagination and great play skills. I noticed early on that baby girl was feeling quite anxious that her friend did things differently to her, for example she might have put something away ‘wrong’ or put something in the ‘wrong’ place. Its important to point out that baby girls friend didn’t do anything ‘wrong’ it was just different to how baby girl would have done it. So I reassured her that she didn’t need to worry and it was ok to put the dolls in the box before the horse and it didn’t matter that the doll had the crown that went with a different doll and that she should just enjoy playing and worry less.
Then there was the ‘zoning out’ at the tv and not noticing her friend who was happily playing, so I reminded her that she could watch tv any time but her friend was only here to play for a short time (I didn’t turn it off because it was actually the friend that had requested a dvd and baby girl was quite adamant that I leave it on for her). Throughout the entire morning I sensed baby girl was struggling with control, her friend was quite confident and happy to just get on and play, but baby girl was more insecure with the situation and uneasy about being led. Don’t get me wrong, the play date went really well, both girls enjoyed themselves and played lovely.
It was when we got home that things started to change, she’d held it in all morning and was now starting to unravel. It began with provoking and picking arguments with her sisters. She very quickly became totally dysregulated so I pulled her close and kissed her, cuddled her, showed her eskimo kisses and told her how much I loved her but it wasn’t enough, she continued to unravel. It ended with a full blown temper tantrum because she couldn’t get her own way, in other words she couldn’t be in control, control is very important to baby girl, she wants it, but when she has it, it scares her.
I pulled her close again and we sat and read a book. It was then that I realised what a difficult place she was in, according to baby girl everything in the book was ‘dead’ or ‘dying’ ‘or had been killed’ or ‘had killed someone’. It was obvious that she was feeling totally terrified and overwhelmed.
The happiness she’d experienced that morning just wasn’t something she understood and it scared her. She understands fear, loss, chaos and that things leave, that’s what feels most familiar, so that where she feels safest.