We arrived early, with my dad and Marc's mom in tow, since parking is super hard by the school, and we wanted to get a prime view for the event.
Seth was totally thrilled to see us, and was excited in general about the festivities.
More and more people arrived, and the teachers prepared. The children, Seth's fellow classmates, were asked to take their seats. All did, but Seth.
He clung to my neck with a mighty grip and wouldn't let go. He refused to take his place and started to cry. I lifted him and tried to place him in his chair, and he wouldn't loosen his gorilla-like grip.
One of the teaching aides came over and took him from me, and let him sit on her lap. He didn't love that, but went along with it, and eventually sat in his seat. But, he refused to sing any of the songs. Wouldn't smile. Made some small hand gestures to the music,as did the other kids. But, all without any enthusiasm.
I was stunned, and I thought Marc was going to totally lose it. He was already running through his mind ways to punish him back home.
Seth was not only not smiling but he looked like he was in a daze. This glassy eyed, teary look.
I spoke to his teacher afterwards who said that maybe he got scared by all the people there.
Another person from the school offered the perspective that perhaps Seth, who always enjoys being the center of attention, decided he'd get more focus by being the one child who looks miserable.
Hmmmm....would he actually think that?! I'm not so sure.
My dad and Marc's mom felt awful, and it put a total damper on the whole experience. Marc was in charge of video taping it, and it almost felt like we shouldn't bother. Who wants to remember the occasion as such a downer?!
His teacher said we shouldn't make too much of it, as sometimes kids get intimated or whatever. A mom we are friendly with offered that her daughter once got shellshocked on stage during a school performance, and stood frozen....so we should grin 'n bear it, basically.
But, should we really?
Marc & I feel that we need to teach Seth that this was totally unacceptable.
So....he will have no dessert, pizza, or soft drinks for a week...and we'll see how this goes.
In the meantime, what should have been joyous and maybe even emotional, was riddled with anger, angst and disappointment. We were so looking forward.
Oh well...I guess it's just part of the unpredictability of our kids and the parenting experience. Best to let go of expectations. But, I still can't help but be letdown, and happy in a sense that this day will pass.
Did that every happen to you? When you were so looking forward to something with your child and it turned out to be a total bust for reasons you may never understand?