Of Preschool Angst, Pajama Parties and Meditation
“Mama, Tina invited to her Pajama Party tomorrow. May I please go?” were the first words my little llama uttered when I picked him up from school.
“No,” I responded, thrown off balance. It was a question I wasn’t expecting to tackle for a long, long time.
“But why, mama?” he persisted.
“Well, for starters you are only four. How will you possibly sleep without me? Besides, her mother hasn’t called me,” I answered quickly.
“But if she calls will you let me go,” he asked at bedtime. “We’ll have to wait and see,” I said.
Of course, I had no intention of letting him go even if the mother of the girl had called and invited him. Fortunately for me, no such invitation was forthcoming.
The next morning brought about a torrent of tears and hurt feelings. “But she invited me, why do we have to wait for her mom to call? Please, please take me to her house,” he cried.
“I know you are sad and confused but mommies are in charge of handing out invitations. And little children do not have sleepovers at your age,” I replied.
Then he went back into the whole bit where he had been invited. I explained, yet again, why he couldn’t go. After 30 minutes of us going back and forth about the same thing, there were two frustrated people instead of one!
And then it struck me! We had recently read a delightful book called Peaceful Piggy Meditations written by Kerry Lee MacLean. The author states that meditation “makes it easier to accept things that happen” and makes us “stop wishing for things to be different.”
We followed the book’s directions for meditating. The kid sat cross-legged on a rug with a metal pot and a pencil that substituted for a gong. He hit the pencil against the pot and began to inhale and exhale. He continued to breathe deeply for the next few minutes. Finally, he hit the pencil against the pot to signify the end of the meditation session.
Although he insisted he had not forgotten about the Pajama Party, I could see that he had visibly calmed down.
Later, I took him for a bicycle ride followed by a family yoga class at the gym. By lunchtime, my happy, smiling child was back. The fact that we also had a little Pajama Party at home was the icing on the cake.
Did I miss the Preschool Pajama Party Revolution? Would you send your kid to a friend’s for a sleepover? If so, what do you think is the appropriate age for kids to spend the night elsewhere?