You can probably tell from this blog that I am far from shy, I’m very outgoing and sociable and a chatterbox, Bru would probably tell you I talk too much but I was quite shy and under confident as a child. Bru is a lot quieter than me, he’d have to be I suppose but I wouldn’t class him as shy so although we expected our little princess might be alittle shy we weren’t prepared for how bad she would be. She started making strange at 6 weeks even though they say they don’t until later but she did. I remember it well, I passed her to her aunt and she lost her life, it took her an hour to settle, she was inconsolable. She did this every time I passed her to someone else including Bru which was pretty hard on him. I remember when she was 4 or 5 months old we decided to go out for our first meal together and my mom and sister offered to babysit. She cried from the moment I left, they even had to hide behind her bouncer because every time she saw their faces and it wasn’t mine which is no great shakes without mascara I might add she lost her life.
She would go to no one, my poor father couldn’t even look at her when he used to visit for about an hour until she got used to him, she did this to everyone and all my family live close by I might add so she saw them regularly. She is a bit of a cutie which caused huge problems as strangers would always comment on her and pay her attention and she would just end up in hysterics. I just used to fob it off and say she was “anti-social like her mother” to relieve the situation. We kept her at home for the first 14 months and my mom used to mind her a couple of days so she was used to her but she just wasn’t getting any better, she was stuck to me, if I left her side for a minute she would lose it which was pretty draining and hard work.
At 14 months I decided enough is enough and the one thing I would hate for her to be is painfully shy as it makes life a lot harder especially going to school, I was bullied so I know what it’s like. I had tried to meet up with other moms and babies but she just wouldn’t interact at all, she would be terrified and just cling to me so I gave up. I was back at work anyway so the only answer was creche, I decided to put her in part-time. Oh my god this was the hardest thing I have ever done, SHE CRIED AND CRIED AND CRIED!! I put her in and paid for 3 full days a week but she only went for about 3 hours a day as I couldn’t leave her any longer as I knew she was so upset. She used to cling to me when we went in and would be so upset, it killed me but I knew I had to do it. She would stay up in the girls arms all day with the saddest face you have ever seen, the guilt nearly killed me but I stuck at it.
She cried every time I brought her for over a year, after a while she started to settle a bit more after I was gone but made me leave guilty everyday. When I would arrive in the afternoon she couldn’t get out of there fast enough, no fear of her ever not wanting to leave. I tried to meet other moms a few times so that she would have some friends but it was a nightmare, she just wanted to be with me and that was it. I didn’t give in though and forced her to go to the park on a daily basis or the local play centre and although she wouldn’t play with anyone or go on anything if there was other children there at least she was around other kids. A friend of mine had a Halloween party (hi Clarice) last October and I dressed her up in her peppa pig outfit and she was so excited going there but once we got there it all ended, she gets so uncomfortable in social situations that she comes across as really bratty and spoilt as she doesn’t know how to handle her emotions (obv as she is 3) but I ended up in the bathroom refusing to let her out until she stopped crying and acting like a lunatic. I didn’t know most of the moms there so they probably thought she was a spoilt brat but it’s hard to explain that it’s just a reaction to being so shy.
During all this time I was constantly trying to boost her confidence and help her overcome it because behind it all she was such a little character with such a great personality that nobody got to see, they just saw the moody face. The teddy bear in the picture above was her clutch “muca” went everywhere with her, he was an extension of her body. Overtime she became fine with her grandparents and went with both sets 1 day a week, even on the days I would have liked to keep her home I let her go just to mix with others. As time went on she stopped crying going into creche but was still never happy about it and still gets out of there as fast as she can when I collect her. She has never once ran in there in the morning, she still clings on a little but that’s ok, it’s nice to know she would still prefer to be with me.
Since that party in October she has become a different child, she is starting to mix more in the creche now whereas she had kept to herself a lot before and is starting to make friends. She goes out now every evening in our estate to meet her little friend Josh and Eimer, I’m always close behind of course. She is nearly going the other way now, we went away to Doonbeg with another family at Easter who she hadn’t met before and she entertained them for the whole weekend with her ballet and singing. The two kids who were 5 and 7 thought she was the funniest little thing they had ever seen, she was even teaching them head, shoulders, knees and toes in Italian on the last night, it was brilliant! I’m so happy for her that she has come out of her shell as she is so much more relaxed and happy in herself and is rarely moody or bold and is enjoying life the way a 3-year-old should be. The only problem now is I might have to bring down her ego as her latest thing when she gets dressed is:
“I think Grandma/others at playschool etc will love what I’m wearing and will be so jealous of me”….