At Trader Joe’s she wanted popsicles.
Me – “Ok, here is the money, go get them.”
I sat down on a bench and waited near the register as she whined and squirmed her way to the checkout. The lady was lovely with her, and as we left she said to me, “I did the same thing with my daughter.”
Five minutes later, we were at the gas station…
Me – “Honey, can you go in and pay. Please tell them $22 on pump two.”
Again, she squirmed, her body contorting into a ball of social fear.
Me – “Why are you being afraid of people? What do you think is going to happen?”
Her – “They will say get out!”
Me – “They would never say that. Everyone is nice to you. If they say that, I will buy you two thousand popsicles.”
She looked at me as if to say I was being ridiculous, and, true, I was.
Me – “Okay, forty popsicles. Come on. Twenty-two on two. You can do it.”
Finally, off she went. It was a good thirty meters away. I saw her glance at me one more time from inside, and then she disappeared. Moments later, she emerged, walking tall and proudly.
My little girl is powerful in many ways, but in many social situations she needs nudges. She doesn’t like them, but she loves how she feels about herself at the other side of it.