I wrote last week about Caitlin and I joining Rainbows in a bid to help Caitlin make some new friends and boost her confidence. When I wrote that, we were just about to attend our first night. Now we’ve been, I thought I would write a little about our first time at rainbows.
For those of you that haven’t read the post, pop on over and have a little read here.
So last Wednesday, we attended rainbows for the first time. Caitlin as a rainbow, and myself as a helper. It was the first session after the halloween break, so they were having a fancy dress party. Caitlin decided she wanted to go as Elsa, which may or may not have been influenced by the fact it’s the only costume she has the fits.
Anyway, as Wednesday approached Caitlin got more and more nervous. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling it too. I started panicking about what I should wear, weather the kids wold warm to me, how Caitlin would find it. In fact, for the few days leading up to it I started to think about just scrapping the whole idea. I think that was my anxiety talking, and for a while it was becoming pretty hard to ignore. But I had to pull myself together for Caitlin’s sake. The last thing she needed when starting this new experience was a quivering mess of a mum beside her.
Wednesday evening arrived, and with her Elsa dress blowing in the wind, we set off for Rainbows.
I knew Caitlin struggled socially, but I didn’t really know the full extent of it. My eyes were about to be opened.
We arrived at the venue, which is somewhere I’ve never been before. I wasn’t sure where Rainbows was held, but noticed some girls in brownie uniforms in a hall, so I decided to go and ask them for directions. Caitlin wouldn’t come with me, she just stood outside the hall. We were directed to the right place, and found the hall that we had to be in. Could I get Caitlin to go in to the hall? Not with ease anyway. My poor little girl was so frightened that she refused to come inside, her whole body went rigid. I tried to talk to her, to sooth her and let her know things would be ok, but she was so scared.
After telling her that I was nervous too, and the we could do it together, I managed to get her in through the door. But only just. Things didn’t improve much for the rest of the night either.
Because it was a party, there wasn’t really much structure to the night. They played games, ran around, danced and generally just had fun. Caitlin wanted so desperately to be part of it, but it was like she was watching the party taking place from behind a window. Perhaps starting on a party night wasn’t the best of ideas. I mean, as an adult, I would be terrified if I had to go to a party where everyone knew each other and I knew no one, wouldn’t you?
She did try though, she joined in with the games as best she could, and she even won musical statues. She may not have spoken to anyone, but I felt that by the end of the night she was starting to loosen up. You should have seen her busting a move on the dance floor at the end of the evening!
Despite being totally terrified, she still had fun, and came home on a high. She couldn’t wait to tell daddy all about it. We both praised her and told her how brave she was for joining in when she felt scared.I feel like our first time at rainbows was a success. Only time will tell how things play out, but I’m feeling hopeful that this could be just the thing to help her gain the confidence to make more friends.