Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This is why he has nightmares

Bean is at the age where sometimes he will wake up in the middle of the night crying, most likely scared from a nightmare. I was talking about this with a couple other moms going through the same thing, and they were wondering what toddlers could possibly have nightmares about.

Me, I don't wonder at all.

Without question, Bean must be having nightmares about the most terrifying place on earth: preschool.

Remember this is the same co-op preschool that he and I attend TOGETHER every Wednesday morning for two hours. We have been with the SAME moms and kiddos for over a year now, or since he was six months old.

Yet I'll be darned if it's not traumatizing for him.

Every week.

He just doesn't like crowds. Or more accurately, other people.

Which, I don't really blame him. Other people can be highly overrated. But I happen to really like our preschool class, and I wish he would show a little more enthusiasm for all the awesome stuff we do.

For example, this morning we went on a field trip to Thomasson Family Farm. It was incredible! They had so many fun things for the munchkins to do. I guess I started us off on the wrong foot... right after we walked up to join our group, I realized I left my camera in the car. I snuck back to grab it while the teacher kept an eye on Bean, playing in the sand pit that was filled with toy John Deere tractors. Of course by the time I hustled back, he was crying for his mama.

I snapped pictures throughout our visit, but they seem more to be evidence of my bad parenting, forcing the poor kid to *gulp* actually try to have fun, rather than documenting an enjoyable trip to the pumpkin patch.

I didn't even get any shots of the corn pit. Even though I went in with him, the little guy was practically shaking while gripping me in deep fear. Fortunately a couple of the others weren't fans of it either, so we wandered to less threatening activities.

There's a huge contrast between these pictures and the ones I take at home (I'll post more of those soon). In our house, there is a constant soundtrack of babbling, a few actual words, giggling at his own jokes, and lots of motor noises. He's running all over the place, throwing balls, pushing cars, and cooking on the Fisher Price stove. But when we go out and see friends, he doesn't utter a sound unless he's wanting me to pick him up, and it's rare to see him crack a smile. Oddly enough, he seems more at ease when we are surrounded by many strangers (like at the mall) then when we are around people we actually know. A commentary on my choice of friends, perhaps? Someone may be a bit too judgemental for his own good.

Well, I keep trying, anyway.

Happy fall, everyone! Hope you are enjoying the season more than Bean seems to be.


Kristina P. said...

Poor guy! I'm sure he had a little fun.

Mary said...

Awww Drew is like that too, very easily overwhelmed in crowds although he is getting much better as time goes on and we get more exposure, so there is hope that Danny will at some point jump right in. I find it works best if we 'watch' the activity from the sidelines for a bit first, then ease into it. Thankfully Livi jumps right in, don't know what I would do with 2 cling ons! in public. Does he have a lovey or other object he loves, that may make him feel more secure when out and about too. Hang in there!!

Nicky said...

Yes, it's clear from the photos that you're torturing him. Forcing him to hang out with pumpkins -- the nerve!

If it helps, I'm just as mean to my little one. Just yesterday, I put him down on the floor and walked an entire 3 feet away from him so that I could get the mail. Oh, the horrible abandonment!

Stephanie Faris said...

So cute. He's having fun...he just doesn't know it yet!

One of my earliest memories is of a nightmare I had that I went into the garage and one of my toys started moving around. It was terrifying!

Kristi said...

Awww..poor little guy so traumatized by all the fun around him. ;)

I think it may be the age. If I remember correctly, I think Isabella was very clingy at around 18 months.

Keep taking him places, and hopefully he will grow out of it.

Martha said...

Super cute pictures. Mr.Bean has his own little personality and I don't like crowds either! Good for you for keep trying.
Toddler brain development is on hyperdrive right now and the nightmares show that they are maturing but still overwhelmed with processing all this new stimuli. Oh, sorry, waaaay more info than you ever wanted from the pedi nurse.

Michelle said...

Aww poor little guy. He is just so darn cute!

Jen said...

Ahhh well every kid is different and there is nothing wrong with being shy around others. Honestly I'm amazed how early personality starts to show up. I agree Bean. Other people and crowds are completely overrated!

Kate said...

Sooooo cute. He's got such a sad little face on like you're forcing him to recite the multiplication table 100 times. Aww. Well, it looks like fun, maybe over time he will adjust? Although to be fair I'm still not into the whole crowd thing!

Soxy Deb said...

Man he DOES look terribly unhappy. That stinks. Hopefully he'll grow out of that soon.

WiseGuy said...

LOL...I am a little late in this, but that's just me!

Bean does not appear to be happy around the tiny cycle or the pumpkin or the animals...but don't worry, once he starts school, he will be more comfy around people....

Aunt Becky said...

I want to hug him tightly. Alex is pretty shy too. Ben's really outgoing and gregarious, but Alex is pretty reserved and shy.

MissMVK said...

I can relate. Piglet is super attached, especially in unfamiliar situations. I know for sure he's not ready to go to preschool all alone even two mornings a week. Recently someone told me that I would "be a different mom to the twins and they won't be like Piglet, they'll be independent." To be honest, I was offended. As if I had smothered P to make him clingy and attached. I think it's partially nature and partially nurture. P is plenty independent, but just not in new circumstances. Anyway, so I know that face all too well. The "you LEFT me" face. Anyway, I digress! I love the pics and we just went to the pumpkin patch ourselves. Climbing up and down off the hayride while holding Piglet almost did me in, but we made it!

Happy fall! Hope you are feeling well. It's still a puke fest over here. Btw, I only take 1/2 a phenergan at bedtime otherwise it knocks me out too!

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL said...

SO cute! Sorry he doesn't seem to be "in" to the pre-school scene yet. What a little sweetie.

I just nominated you for the same award from your last post. Oops. As my planning period is nearly over, I'm leaving you on my list--hope you don't mind. :)