Mellow Mummy: Shy : Taking life as it comes...

Monday 16 May 2011


I've discovered a new side to Lara. A Lara I didn't know existed. Lara is shy. Lara is scared.

Other than a few short weeks when Lara was about 9 months old, I'd have never thought to use the word “shy” to describe my sociable, happy little girl. With children and adults alike, Lara was able to settle in quickly with a new group of people.

We've always maintained that Lara should be able to enjoy the same events we do which is why, the day before the royal wedding, we took Lara with us for our regular pub date with the guys from work. Lara seemed really excited about going for lunch with Daddy and Mummy's friends. The minute we walked into the pub she changed into a different human being.

Lara went totally silent and hid behind my legs. She wouldn't eat or drink (this happens so rarely with Lara that I worry when she doesn't eat). She wouldn't even show her face. She clung to me like a limpit and squawked whenever anyone tried to speak to her. I was expecting Lara to warm to the people around her. She didn't. This unusual behaviour lasted for a full hour.

As soon as all of our work colleagues left the pub and returned to the office, Lara reverted to her normal smiley cheeky self and polished off her lunch. She wiggled and giggled and even struck up a conversation with the strangers on the table next to us. She wouldn't explain her behaviour to me – what had upset her so much. When I returned to the office, people who have seen Lara as her normal cheerful self commented on how out of sorts she had been.

On the May Bank holiday we took Lara to the May Fayre. She loved seeing all the people, the fair ground rides, the loud stalls and the performances on the stage. But, she did have two episodes which were so unlike her. First, she burst into tears when she saw someone dressed as Iggle Piggle I've always hated people dressed up as characters, but this had never seemed to bother Lara before. Then later, she refused point-blank to get into the children's train; through her tears she described it as 'the scary train'. This coming from the little girl who has been on all of the toddler's rides at Legoland and Peppa Pig World!

That Lara's behaviour has changed does not surprise me. All of her NCT friends are going through similar changes right now and I'm sure that as Lara grows through toddlerhood into childhood that there will be plenty more changes in her behaviour. What leaves me feeling uncomfortable is being unable to help her. I wasn't prepared for this new Lara's arrival and I'm not sure what comfort or support I can offer her.
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