My four-year old had his first nursery school performance today. I was very excited, but knew that there was a big potential of not going the way we would have planned.
Over the past two weeks of their class practicing he has been overwhelmed with the noise level and shuts down. He begins to cry and there is no turning back once the tears have started to roll. I discussed the issue with him and he explained that when the other class of kids sing with his class they are very loud and its scares him. I am assuming that it’s a sensory issue and that he can’t handle the loud input of noise. We decided to try ear plugs to help him. Both he and his teachers were all on board.
On Wednesday, the class practiced for the first time in the large auditorium. He did great and didn’t need the ear plugs but I knew I would bring them as back up for today’s big show.
So here we are today, Excited and camera ready!
As they begin to sing, the kids must have gotten really excited to see all their family so some of them were nearly screaming the songs. It was very cute and picture perfect moment, except my son didn’t think so at all.
The head went down, hands over the face and the tears began to stream.
I snuck up near him and pulled him to the side and slipped in the ear plugs. “It’s ok bud, you are doing great. The ear plugs are in now, it will be ok” It wasn’t ok though. As most parents, I really know my kid the best. I could read his demeanor and knew where it could go.
Then he yanked the plugs of his ears and began to shake his head no.
Yep, here it comes. Ready, aim and FIRE! He chucked them right to my face. He was an emotional wreck and needed to feel supported. I did what most parents would do. I climbed on stage with him, sat him on my lap and rocked and sang the songs. He calmed down and stopped crying.
I knew in the back of my head there may have been adults watching, thinking that I was doing the wrong thing. Maybe I should have had him stick it out by himself. Maybe they were laughing at this mother trying to console her kid and getting a face full of ear plugs.
But I really didn’t care. My ego could be bruised and I can deal, but I wasn’t going to let my four-year old feel ashamed, abandoned and left to put his emotions back together again. Like I said, I know my kid better than anyone. I know that I was doing the right thing for him.
As the next class went up to sing, one of his teachers sat him on her lap to help him feel safe. She told him when it was time to go up for the finale he could stand on the end (furthest away from the loud ones) and she would stand next to him. It worked and with just three songs to sing, he participated a little and even smiled.
He was back to his old self in no time. I even got to take pictures and video of my little man’s first performance. It will be one to remember, for sure.
When we got home I did ask him if I made him feel worse or better by going on stage with him. He assured me better. I guess this mom needed to have a little reassurance too.