Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pump it Up: Sam's Own Personal Hell

I know I've mentioned before Sam's crippling fear of blow-up things. Although it's been a couple weeks since everyone took down their beastly Santas and menacing snowmen, the fear remains. Sam references blow-up things frequently and is still having nightmares about them. It's awesome.

Tonight, we went to one of Sam's friend's birthday party at Pump it Up. That's right, it's a warehouse type building full of inflatables. You know another name for inflatables? Blow-up things!!!

Bob's out of town this weekend so I'm single mom-ing it. (By the way, all you single parents out are amazing.) Anyway, after unloading the boys and getting soaked gathering diapers and our gift, then stepping in no less than 3 large puddles and getting the bottom of my jeans soaked we made it inside. We head down the short hall where you have two options, Door A and Door B. These are both rooms containing varying inflatables. Door B happened to be open and Sam immediately looked at me, said "mommy, hol-jew, hol-jew!", followed by, "not go in der, not go in der...go in DER!" (pointing at the closed Door A). I'm maneuvering the stroller (with Grey) and holding Sam...well that's not entirely true...he was clutching onto me so tightly I didn't really have to hold him.

So, we go in Door A and, you guessed it, he freaks out again because lo and behold, Door A was hiding inflatables too! After about 10 minutes of that sweet little monkey holding onto me for dear life, the parents of his friend coming up to try and reassure him and my persistent assurance, he finally got down on the floor and ran over to play with a Cozy Coupe. And things would've been fine had he made it there about 2 seconds sooner. Another little boy beat him to it (unknowingly). After some assistance from the birthday boy's dad and his convincing the older boy to let Sam play with the car, he was set.

He was set until it was time for us to change rooms and then we started all over again. We didn't start from scratch, but we started all over again. We found another car for Sam to sit in. He's got my old one at home so maybe that was some sort of security for him. I guess he knew that cars don't belong on the inflatables, so as long as he's in the car, he's not going on the inflatable. Simple, right?

Well, I took this opportunity to enjoy the inflatable slide and it was quite exciting. I thought showing Sam how much fun it was would do the trick, but noooooo, no going on the slide.

Sam ended up having quite a good time. He did get on one inflatable that had basketball goals and lots rubber balls to throw around. He was in there most of the time with some bigger kids and he did great. He just ran around, throwing himself on the ground, running into the bigger boys (who were so sweet to him), and throwing balls.

I was really proud of him. It was kind of my first proud parent moment, seeing him conquer that fear. It did take a while, true, but I think this was a great lesson in him trusting me to protect him, not to push him but to be persistent and let him try new things on his terms.

After the inflatable part of the party, we had pizza, chips, fruit snacks (a new fav), and cake. All in all, I think it was a pretty big success. And for the record, Bob was sorely missed tonight. Sorely missed.


Jennifer said...

That sounds a lot like David's first experience there, except he was a bit older. (He had a traumatic experience with one of the inflatables at Birthday Sunday one year). He also used to be scared of all the Christmas inflatables, so much so that he refused to go down the Christmas inflatable aisle at Lowes' unless he was holding onto me for dear life with his eyes tightly shut. He has since outgrown all of that, and he now loves Pump It Up and wants to know when we can get a Christmas inflatable. I sort of miss the cuteness of him being scared of it, but I guess it wouldn't be that cute as a 5 yr old to be that scared of all that stuff.

Lindsay said...

Aw - poor guy! Cute story, though. Isn't it going to be so bittersweet to come back and read this stuff in about 5 years when he's a total big boy? I need to document more stuff like this with Eli.

Alicia said...

Very cute story!! Way to go Sam for overcoming a fear, and awesome parenting skills Greta!! Putting myself in that situation I fear I may have tried to push Shiloh some which only would have made things worse.

Lauren said...

So sweet and sad! I especially love the tag "scary inanimate objects" on the post. ;)

Good job not pushing him, Mama. :) WM is terrified of the carwash, and we keep trying it periodically...and then we hear about it day and night for the next 2 weeks. (whoops)

Laura said...

Good job Sam! I'm so proud of him too. And Greta, yet again I'm impressed by your knack for parenting. Please promise you'll teach me everything you know one day.

~One proud aunt/sister

Angela said...

This was a sweet story - way to go Sam...and Mom!

BTW, we're going to a Pump It Up party next weekend - but now, if something like this happens with Zach, I'll know how to handle it! :)

Rachel said...

1. Pump It Up is NOT made for toddlers. Our only visit: we left after 5 minutes.

2. It was raining that day too.

3. It was a nightmare.

4. I will not go back for a LONG time.

5. However, I'm quite proud of Sam for surviving it.