Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Disney on Ice

Here we are at Disney on Ice. Sadly we never made it inside the arena. We tried, I felt like on this event I did everything right and we were as prepared as possible. Holly was totally fine walking in and even with the crowds of people in the lobby but the moment we walked into the seating area of the arena, before the show even started she totally flipped out. We ended up sitting outside for the entire first half of the show. Chloe's Dad brought us this princess dress in case perhaps seeing him and the dress might coax Holly into going inside, she wanted to wear the dress but not to go inside. She watched much of the show through the curtain barrier and I would hold her near the doorway and walk a step closer moment by moment thinking we could even hang out int he back, but as soon as we were fully inside she would get upset and begin crying again.
Afterwards I spoke to several other parent's in my various groups and a few suggested that it might be the Acoustics, not the loud noise, or the sounds themselves, or the crowds or the dark, as none of those things in other environments seemed to upset her, but the very fact that in such a large space the sound acoustics are different then say loud music in a car or small house, and that the brain processes those sounds in a different way that she perhaps could not handle. In retrospect it made a lot of sense, as when we went to Yo Gabba Gabba there was no music in the hall when we entered and went to our seats, it was only when the show started that she was upset. However at Disney on Ice, there was background music playing well before the show began so those acoustics would have been bouncing around causing havoc before the show began making it an issue to even go into the Arena seating area.

Here we are at Intermission, Chloe came to visit us. Holly actually did worse while she was visiting as she began to fear I might force her inside while earlier I would bring her in slowly but leave the moment she got upset so she felt in control. We left shortly after the second act began. Holly even watched about 20 minutes of the show on you tube that same afternoon, so it was not the show itself that was causing fear either. She was also able to articulate that she was scared, when we watched the video you could see audience member's clapping and she said that's Coco clapping in the seat she is Happy, Holly is scared. We have talked about it a lot since, she will tell me she is scared of the "Mousy House" and remember. She isn't yet able to articulate what she was scared of, but developmentally I think that her ability to acknowledge the emotion of fear at all is a huge step. I handled it much better this time.

The other day Chloe went to Cirque Du Soleil and I was really sad about it, I wish I was able to take Holly to shows like that, but besides the fear factor there is the sitting still issue we can't even do movies yet. When i told her Chloe was going to the circus she said Holly go to, and I said well Chloe is not scared of the show she likes to sit in the seat and clap, but Holly was scared at Mousy House so I decided to skip this new show. And she said, Holly try again. I told her that it was very brave for her to want to try again and we will soon. I was thinking of taking her to the circus like Ringling Brother's when they are in town, I think the acoustics won't be a problem in the Big top, but the tickets are cheap if it is an issue. I am also hoping to take her to a Movie again soon with the expectation of walking out, but first I am trying to get her to sit through a movie at home, which she doesn't want to do. I even thought about coordinating a tour of the arenas where she could go during the day when it was empty and see the seats with the lights up and the stage. One mom suggested maybe during a sound check so she could hear the noises, I think the more I expose her the better she will do. I have hope, even though it makes me sad a little. i love the theatre and shows and concerts they were a huge part of my life and if she can;t ever handle it, I will be sad to not be able to share it with her, but she is only three, we have a lot of years to work up to it and I have faith that with determination she will overcome the anxiety and fear associated with it. i can tell she wants too, so we will keep working at it together.


Robin said...

What about a smaller, local one-ring circus instead of Ringling Brothers (three-ring)? That might have more lighting than Cirque du Soleil, too. :) I think movies, circus and shows are difficult for typical 3 year olds, as well. That's been my experience, at least...

Granny said...

That's a good idea to try something smaller, and maybe even something outdoors. Meanwhile get Tanta Kat to babysit and go to Cirque de Soleil with Joel! I'll bet by the time Holly is 5 years old, she'll be good to go!