Tots, tantrums and tears

Hard work at P&T today 🙁
On paper it should have been easy, as there was not only a church member down to help but also a new volunteer sent my way by a friend who works in careers and rehab type stuff. In fact, I had plans to pull everything out of the cupboard, sort it all out and put it back in properly. Talk about the best laid plans…

Things started well, with J and the new volunteer playing a word pool game (throw the die to see how many lily pads the frog can jump on to collect letters, then use the letters to spell words) which J loved. In fact, it kept him happy for nearly an hour, with various others joining in from time to time then dropping out when they got bored. K was happy just pottering with his friends, so all looked well….. except for L who was permanently teetering on tantrum-edge 🙁 She cried when a baby touched a toy she had earmarked as hers, when another child looked at the bike she had abandoned at the other end of the hall in a way that suggested he might be thinking about wanting to ride it 🙄 , when I told her it wasn’t time for biscuits yet, when her doll fell out of the sling (kids’ coorie) she was carrying it in… It didn’t help that it was an unusually busy session.

In the end I decided enough was enough and used the fact that I had helpers this week to give a bit of leeway; I took L out for a walk. A bit of fresh air and time out, cuddled up to mummy in a wrap, seemed to help calm her down and when we got back she was able to just get on calmly with the other children.

After P&T we went to Z’s for lunch and play, which was great – until N (his mum) tried to get a photo of all the children together and J got seriously stroppy. As I was starting to get frustrated with him I had a sudden flash that this was more stress than strop. In the past we have had special treat last days spoiled by awful behaviour because he cannot cope with the sadness to come 🙁 Instead of trying to coax or push him into cooperating I gave him a big cuddle and asked “Are you really sad that we have to say goodbye to Z?” and he burst into tears 😥
Eventually we worked out that part of the problem was that he thought we had no contact details for Z so would never see them again (I asked him how he had coped with saying goodbye to friends at MP camp and he said it was okay because they had all given him their phone numbers – first I knew of it 😆 ) so we showed him the card N had given us with lots of contact info and promised to save up and try to get to Canada sometime to visit…

Then spent the rest of the afternoon playing outside, finding pottery pieces (note to self: ask Polly), exploring a secret path where we found rope which the boys then used to mountaineer up the slide in the playground… oh, and introducing N to the slippery slope of babywearing :mrgreen: