First Grade So Far

first grade

We have a first grader in our house now. A FIRST GRADER. We have now completed week one back at school, in the new first grade routine. A rocky start, but not as rocky as the start of the school year last year. And last year’s start was better than the year before. Progress.

I recently acquired a ton of new readers, so I will take a brief moment to explain our kiddo’s situation a bit. When he was in preschool, we were having major issues with his behavior. He was being very aggressive toward the other kids, and also toward us, for no apparent reason. After some meetings with the preschool director, lots of reading and research, and some visits to an occupational therapist, he was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (a good place to read up on this is here).

When asked why he was pushing or hitting other children, he’d respond with, “I thought they were going to bump into me.” Or, “I was afraid they would step on me.” He was so sensitive about his body-in-space issues and his personal space bubble that he was trying to avoid being hurt or touched by taking matters into his own hands, the only way a 3 year old could figure out how to fix his environment to suit him.

So, we saw some therapists, tried some intensive therapies, changed some things at home, and he’s made amazing strides. He regressed a bit when his younger brother was born, but we’ve made progress since then too. He’s still very sensitive to his environment, and has trouble regulating his emotions.

Calling names, swearing and screaming have replaced the hitting and pushing. The verbal has replaced the physical. For example, now if someone comes “too close” at school or on the sidewalk, he says, “They’re dumb.” Or something to that effect. Even though he doesn’t know them, and they haven’t done anything.

At first, I was just glad he wasn’t hurting other kids. But now, I’m not sure it’s any better. With the physical stuff, at least we could point out that not a lot of other people go around hitting and pushing everyone around them. But with the language? People call each other names all the time, even just as a joke. I’ve had to make him stop watching even certain G-rated movies because characters are going around calling each other idiots and morons. And swearing? I can curb my language to the absolute best of my ability, but how do I keep him from hearing it in public? People walking by our house on the street are yelling swear words. So, the language is proving much more difficult to correct.

I think he’s doing remarkably well in first grade, considering what an adjustment I’m sure that it was for him. We always said we were going to make him do workbooks and reading exercises all summer, and we were going to spend the last few weeks of summer vacation getting him back on his school year schedule, with an earlier bedtime and earlier rise time, etc.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Between the move taking over our entire month of July, and his complete and ugly unwillingness to do any of the above, we didn’t do much of that. But August 18 eventually showed up at our doorstep anyway. And he had to wake up at 6 am, and he had to eat breakfast instead of zoning out in front of the TV. And he had to get dressed and then walk to school, instead of, you know, zoning out in front of the TV. He doesn’t respond well to transitions. Which is a total understatement. I mean, the kid basically shuts down when we ask him to change into his pajamas at night. And this was a pretty big change. So, I feared the worst.

The first day went well, though he was a bit grumpy and exhausted afterward. The second day was ROUGH. He said “shit” a few times and ended up in a time out (which I’m not wild about, but it’s her classroom, so *shrug*). I took away some privileges for the afternoon because of the swearing, so it was a fitful, screaming, name-calling evening. The third day was better, but he told me later that his shoes kept coming untied and he had lost his lunch box so it was “such a horrible day!” Day four was good. Normal. Got his work done, didn’t get in trouble. Day five was better but still rough, I think he was just tuckered out. We went for ice cream after school to celebrate the end of the first week. He got called a name by another kid as we walked to get ice cream, and was incredibly emotional about it. I sympathized, but also reminded him that he does that to other people. Which he didn’t really respond well to. But, he was very well-behaved that afternoon. Perhaps because of the promise of the weekend ahead of him.

ice cream

I hope this week and the weeks to follow go just as smoothly. I hope he doesn’t get too comfortable and start acting up. But as far as I can tell, the wrinkles in his personality caused by the SPD are starting to smooth themselves out. And he’s maturing into a great student. His teacher and I just take things one day at a time.

Now, his behavior at home…that’s another story for another time. But hey, one step at a time.

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Kindergarten

Today we finish up the first two weeks of Kindergarten. I’m still having a hard time believing I’m an elementary school mom now (PTA membership and Room Mom days on the horizon and EVERYTHING). But, I’m sure by the end of the year, after all the packed lunches, morning announcements, Pledges of Allegiance, permission slips and homework that it will all feel natural to me.

The Friday afternoon before the first day, we were able to go see the school, see his classroom and meet his teacher. He was very shy at first, and a little hesitant to even go into the classroom. But, once he started seeing his name all over the room, and once he found his cubby and desk, it was like he’d been going there all his life.

There have been some…behavior issues. But his teacher can already recognize that he’s triggered by lots of commotion and noise, and being with a lot of kids at once. He’s completely fine in the classroom, even sitting nicely at his desk or on the rug and listening when she’s talking. It’s lunch and recess that give him trouble. And it’s largely a product of him reacting to what other kids are doing and saying, much more so than in preschool where he was often the one starting stuff. I’m not going to worry too much about it right now, he’s still adjusting, and so are the other kids. Instead I’m choosing to focus on the fact that he’s behaving in the classroom. A year ago I’d never have thought he could do it.

When he gets home from school, we have the typical “what did you learn today?” “I don’t know.” conversation. But, then if I just sit and listen, as he gets to talking, I find out that he painted, played Mr. Potato Head, saw preschool friends at recess, went to the gym, had a music class, went to the library. He’s definitely becoming a full-fledged elementary school kid. And loving it.

Glance Back at the Week

1. The preschool director had requested a meeting with me last week, to “discuss Bowie’s progress and where he is now”. And I sort of dreaded it, just unsure of what they’d tell me or expect me to say. I met with them this past Tuesday and, oh you guys. Amazing meeting. The teachers are completely floored by his behavior, and how far he’s come. The director said he’s “a completely different kid.” They applauded us for putting him in therapy and being persistent with him over the summer, and they said it has paid off in a major way. And they’d even like to use us as an example for future families who might be hesitant to seek help. I used to cry in their office out of frustration and embarrassment, and that day I was able to get misty out of pride and relief. I knew there had been a change in him, but I wasn’t sure others would be able to see it too. But, they were so surprised, and so happy.

2. So, if you’re a semi-regular reader, then you know I had a salmonella infection in 2006. It was a little bit traumatic, and I talk about it a lot, using my blog as a therapist (thanks you guys, you’re way cheaper than an actual therapist) and I like to get the word out about recalls and warnings. Because it was hell on earth, and I just don’t want to see anyone else get it. But I have to say that lately, I am pretty freaking overwhelmed with the news stories and warnings and recalls and possible contaminations and outbreaks. They are everywhere I turn. Peanut butter and mangoes and lettuce and spinach and canteloupe and tomatoes and ground turkey and MY GOD MAKE IT STOP. It’s enough to make even the bravest eater among us wonder if anything we ever put in our mouths is safe. And being pregnant makes it even scarier, because it’s not just about me right now, ya know? Funny story (also that you’ve probably already heard)–when I went into labor with Bowie, I actually thought I’d contracted salmonella again. The gastrointestinal distress, the abdominal cramping, it was all so reminiscent of my illness. I told my husband to take me to the hospital because I was sick and I didn’t want to hurt the baby. He could see through the crazy and knew I was in labor, but I was inconsolable, surely I’d somehow gotten salmonella again, and now my baby had it too. Wow, the crazy, looking back.

3. Since Tuesday, I have been having some mild cramping and lots of pelvic pressure. I’m sure I have a ways to go yet, but it’s nice to feel like things are progressing a little bit. I am SO hungry. All the time. It’s nuts. (Mmmm, nuts.) And between the peeing, the sore hips, the sweating to death and the insane dreams, sleep is a thing of the past. I’m trying to learn to cope with it, instead of complain about it, because I know I won’t be getting sleep anytime soon.

4. For your weekly dose of insane cute: Bowie found this outfit in the dress up area at school. It’s a witch’s dress, but some of the trim is green with spiders and spiderwebs on it. And he’s totally latched on to the thing, proclaiming it the “Nice Spiderman Princess” outfit. He wears it all afternoon at school, and the other night I just couldn’t get it off of him, so he wore it out to dinner too. And the the whole next afternoon at school, and following evening. It’s so cute and hilarious, and we can’t wait to show him pictures when he graduates high school.

Discipline, Psychology, Swear Words and Me

So, I’m going to blab at you about kids and swearing again, sorry. If you’re a bit sensitive to swearing, now’s a good time to move on to some better blog reading. The thing is, the swearing preschooler in our house is still going strong, even at school, and I’m kind of perturbed that no one’s advice is working.

Thankfully, the F word seems to have waned a little bit. It still comes out from time to time, but nowhere near as often as “shit”. Shit is probably the word he uses the most on a daily basis. Well, it’s in the running, along with “want” and “juice”.

These are the main things we have tried to combat the swearing:

1. Pretending not to hear the words. This trick is a lot more effective when we are at home. Because when you’re at a preschooler birthday party, packed with other parents and kids, and he yells at top volume, “You’re just a stupid shit mama!” and you try to ignore it, you just look like a loser. Seriously. Like you don’t care, and aren’t trying. But, at home we’ve tried the tactic of seeming unfazed, to take the power out of the words. Because, that’s what it’s really all about, right? He’s somehow learned that particular words hold power. He has power by saying them. And power is all a preschooler really wants out of life, because their opportunities to have any are so few. But, all this tactic seems to have done for him is made the word more accessible, and more a regular part of his daily vocabulary. It’s similar to an adult’s use of swear words in that manner. Have you ever challenged yourself to not swear? Or even to stop saying any word? A college friend and I challenged ourselves to cut out the word “like”, at least in the context of “you know, like, totally awesome” and I think we made it…an hour? Point being, the more regular use a word gets, the more likely it is to pop out at every given chance. So, this isn’t working. At all.

2. Getting super angry when he says the word. We’ve also been known to make threats, like taking toys away, not going somewhere special, even the dreaded Soap in the Mouth (which pre-parenthood I was sooooo against, funny how things change. But, we get organic, plant based soaps so…are we less evil???). But, this comes right back to the power element of it. Us getting angry gives the behavior some pretty big time attention. Negative attention, yes. But when you’re 4, it doesn’t really matter if the attention is negative or positive, as long as it’s there. Hey, when I say “shit”, mom and dad flip out at me, awesome! So, obviously, this isn’t going to work. And in general, it makes all three of us miserable.

3. Replacing the word with other words, or encouraging him to choose words to say in place of swear words. We’ve repeated his own sentences back to him with different words, similar to the preschool teacher from my last post. We have also asked him to choose different words to express his anger and frustration. AND, we have ALSO suggested he choose and/or make up a new word that he can use in the same context he would use a swear word. For instance, “shoot” or “fudge”. So, you can still release the bad feelings by yelling out a word, but that word doesn’t actually have to be a swear word. This suggestion seems to offend him, and he gets angry and refuses. Still hammering home with this one, it seems like it should work so well.

4. Referring to all swear words as bad words that we don’t say. And if he hears it in a movie, or out in public, we will point out that the person saying it is an adult, but he is still just a kid, so it’s not appropriate for him to say it. Now, any fellow parent or child psychologist or anyone really can tell me this method is not effective with any child for any behavior. But, that didn’t really stop us from giving it a go. We are very, very desperate.

We were still seeing the occupational therapist when all of this first started, and her response was that he’s picked up the words, figured out how to use them in context, and refuses to stop using them no matter how much mommy and daddy plead because, “He’s so smart!” Which is a nice and thoughtful thing to say about my son, but really, not so helpful.

And I know my son well enough, and know parenting well enough, to know that eventually it will all pass. It will fade away, the luster will be lost, the words will make their way out of his everyday vocabulary. But, it seems to be taking an awfully long time for this to happen. And, I can’t really do anything about the Shock and Awe he’s causing the general public. All those perfect, do-good parents out there who never allowed these words into their child’s pristine ears. In addition to making a dramatic, taken-aback face at him, they also look to me for some kind of response. Something to the tune of one of the four aforementioned methods, which have all failed miserably for us.

I didn’t get much of a response last time I posted about this. I think simply because you guys just don’t know what to tell me. You probably haven’t had to deal with it (and I hope that you never do!). And that’s fine. But, what are some of your other methods of getting through to your kids about an undesirable, yet very stubborn behavior? How can we get inside their little brains, and make them think curbing their bad behavior was actually their own idea?

Behavior chart? Some version of a “swear jar” that will resonate with a kid? Any advice or idea very welcome at this point.

 

Highlights for the Week

>>I’m a lot less worried now about the whole gestational diabetes thing than I was. I had an appointment with a different midwife, who was much more informed, and she said I’m a very borderline case, and to not really sweat it. I also made an appointment for next week with the diabetes clinic, and I hope to leave there finally fully informed. I am managing to get through the days, but I carry hardboiled eggs or cheese sticks with me wherever I go now, in case hunger strikes. Before, if I was out and about and got hungry, I’d get a soft pretzel or a Jamba Juice, or some other terrible convenience food item. But that’s all off limits now so…better carry something with me. And I’m trying to get more vegetables in there, even though I don’t enjoy most veggies cooked, and raw veggies have a tendency to wreak havoc on my overly sensitive digestive system. I ate vegetables before, of course, but I had the carbs to sort of carry things along, and give my stomach more to work on than just raw vegetables. Work in progress. I’m hoping I get some permission to indulge in some carbs once in a while. The longer I go without the sugary stuff, the less I miss it. But the carbs? Oh man, what I wouldn’t do to rip into a crusty baguette right now.

>>We went on a mini little staycation to Davis over the weekend, and on Sunday Bowie started showing signs of a bladder infection. Symptoms had mostly cleared up by Tuesday morning when I finally got him in to see the doctor, so we figured it was a reaction to the chemicals in the hotel swimming pool, common with young kids. But she took a urine sample anyway. Yesterday she told me the culture had shown something a little worrisome, so now he’s on antibiotics. Whenever we give him medicine, he is very curious as to why he’s getting it, what it’s for. So I said, “Remember when your penis was hurting when you went potty? It’s to make sure that won’t happen anymore.” So now he’s telling everyone he’s taking “penis medicine”. Thankfully most of the people we spend time with also have preschoolers at home and figure there’s some logical explanation that goes along with that.

>>I was thinking forward to the holiday season, and the little traditional get-togethers we have both here in the city and with family across the country, and I was (very shallowly) bummed I wouldn’t be able to drink wine for some of it, but then it dawned on me that Yes! I can! I will have the baby by New Year’s. I will have the baby by Christmas. I will have the baby by Thanksgiving. YOU GUYS: I’m going to be the mother of two sons by Halloween. Every time that “X more weeks” makes me feel like I’ve got forever to go, I’m going to try to remember this. And that by this time next year, I’ll be lamenting that baby is getting too big too fast.

>>Bowie’s behavior at school has been so awesome lately (KNOCK ON WOOD). I know it has a lot to do with the fact that there’s about half the amount of other kids there as there are during the regular school year. But, I’d like to think the therapy is helping a bit (we’re 3 sessions in). The teachers and most of the other parents totally get it, and are super supportive and give me nice “you’ll get through it” arm squeezes, and still invite us on playdates because they know what’s going on. There are a handful though, that are overly concerned about his behavior, and have even tried to intervene (I mean, aside from their duties as a working parent at school). But lately he has been on par with just being an average 4 year old. He gets a toy taken away from him and pushes the other kid. Even though 10 minutes earlier, Sally Jo had a toy taken away from her and pushed the other kid, because it’s Bowie, they hone in on his behavior as something that needs to be fixed, rehabilitated, reformed, but Sally Jo? Oh, she’s just being a kid. It’s SO hard to deal with this. Bowie isn’t acting out, he’s reacting to stimuli that most of the other kids can easily brush off. And I also feel like a huge part of him getting past this is being treated like the other kids, especially when he’s acting like the other kids, when he’s back on their level. I’m a little emotional about lately it because I’m pregnant feeling protective of him, wondering what’s being said to him when I’m not around. And I’m proud of him for the incredible strides he’s already made. And when the therapist tells me how bright and creative and sweet he is, I just want to hug her until I break her in half. Now, if she could just hold a seminar at school where she just talks about how awesome my kid is if you just give him a chance…

>>I just wrote a whole paragraph about the weather, and then deleted it. Who blogs about the weather?! (A busy mama with writer’s block, that’s who.)

Happy weekend and happy Independence Day!

A few quick things

>I’ve started doing a wee bit o’ writing for Circle of Moms. Check my first post here.

>The fleas in California this year are at apocalyptic levels. Outdoor Kitty had them so bad, she gave herself a skin infection from all the itching, requiring a double round of antibiotics and steroids for the irritation. And even though I have given both kitties their monthly dose of Advantage, I am still finding fleas on them. Which makes me itch and scratch like crazy whenever I feel the tiniest little itch. Pair this with my strong distaste for the silverfish problem our house has and…I’ve got the creepy crawlies 24/7.

>When I was pregnant with Bowie, I ate a ton of junk food, fast food, sugary stuff. This time I really haven’t craved it all that much. Once in a while (like, once a day) I want chocolate, but I don’t overdo it. And I almost never want fast food at all. (Which is just weird for me, pregnant or not.) (But I’m not complaining.) SUCH a different pregnancy, in so many ways.

>Also about this pregnancy: it’s all of a sudden going super s-l-o-w. When I hit the 20 week mark, I thought wow, this is going SO FAST. And now the days are dragging, I can’t imagine myself making it all summer long being pregnant, and I spend all my time either yawning or peeing or being hungry. Or yawning while peeing and being hungry. And for all that yawning, you’d think I’d be able to sleep at night. But, no. My body gearing me up for sleepless nights with the babe, I guess.

>Bowie’s behavior at school improved drastically for a few weeks, but this week went back to its normal ugly self. And I am truly scratching my head. Sometimes in life, I have these thoughts, “If I’m really going to be honest with myself, I know what the problem is here.” But this time? That is NOT the case. I’ve been trying my damnest to be the patient yet firm, fun-loving parent I know I need to be, I really have been trying. And it seems to work some days, but not other days, normal I guess. But, I can’t deal with my normal as ending my day with reports of other kids getting injured by my son, and having my own scratches and bruises from him to contend with. The occupational therapist we have met with is taking her dandy old time getting back to us on what she thinks about his issues or lack thereof with sensory processing. I have a very strong feeling that is the issue (like after a violent outburst in a crowd of kids he tells his teacher “I thought everyone would push me and step on me”), and I’m dying to meet with her and hear her strategies for dealing with it. With the new baby on the way, I’m operating on borrowed time here.

>On a much lighter note, my garden is going off. I guess the past few years of experimentation and poring over gardening books is finally starting to pay off. I’m definitely still experimenting here, but so far so good! I just hope it all doesn’t go to pot when A) we finally get our normal San Francisco cool, foggy summer weather and B) I have a newborn.

Ok, I think that’s it for now. I have to go, I’m hungry. And I have to pee. Have a good week, all!

 

The Week in Snippets

A few random things. Because apparently that’s how I roll now?

Mid-pregnancy ultrasound is scheduled for April 27. I can hardly wait to lay eyes on the little one, and see how things are going. I’m such a ball of excitement/nerves/wonder, I can hardly think straight. But I had a nice talk with the midwife at my appointment last Friday about my concerns, and she said the heartbeat sounds really great, and the baby is moving around a lot, so things seem to be progressing very well. And if I need to pop in for a “heartbeat check”, to just give her a call. That conversation made my LIFE. In a sea of doctors and midwives who are trying desperately to understand how I feel and put me at ease, finally someone who could.

I’m not sure how often I’ve discussed this on here, but lately Bowie has been very…physical. Too physical. And he’s started hurting kids at preschool. But, the preschool director, his teacher and Brien and I are bound and determined to get him back on the right track. We’ve enlisted the help of an occupational therapist, who we got a smokin’ deal on through the preschool, and she is in the process of evaluating him for sensory motor sensitivities, which could explain a whole heck of a lot of the things he’s having issues with lately. I will keep you all updated, and go into more detail in a future post. For now, I will just say that it’s been a major stressor for me and my husband lately, and we’ve been working so hard lately, doing our absolute best, with few results. Some results, but it’s slow-going. It’s all fairly normal, and he will outgrow it, but I’d love to have this phase behind us, especially with a new little one set to arrive this fall.

I have had pregnancy brain something fierce. I’m not talking about walking into a room and forgetting why you’re there. I’m talking about having to make myself no less than 4 to do lists, all of which say the same thing, and leaving them around the house for myself, and STILL forgetting things. An example: I had a meeting at preschool the other night, a meeting we have once a month, without fail. I had it on all of my lists. I had it on the calendar. I talked with another mom about it that day. During dinner that night, I was talking about it with my husband. Then, I rinsed my dinner plate, put it in the dishwasher, sat down on the couch, and that was it. I forgot all about the meeting until it was long over. And I never forget stuff like that. Never! I was…I don’t know…embarrassed? It felt like that time in sixth grade when I totally forgot I had to give a how-to speech in English class, and had to make one up on the fly. Which was terrible. (But, thank you Mrs. Beguhn for making me do it anyway, LESSON LEARNED. Well, unless I’m pregnant, apparently.) Thankfully, the person at school in charge of making sure everyone gets to the meetings is a close friend. And she didn’t judge me. Too much.

The weather was nice this weekend, and is supposed to be even nicer as the week progresses. I did a whole bunch of gardening over the weekend, and I’m super excited to see how we do this year. I’m taking the old trial-and-error approach to figuring out gardening in the Outer Sunset (we have a very unique climate out here), so starting off the new season, I’m always so excited to see what grows, what doesn’t, and the whole spectrum in between. This year we’re trying (thus far) strawberries, lettuce, pattypan squash, two kinds of bush beans, fava beans, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, celery, peppers and chard. I’m also trying some new techniques with rosemary, thyme, parsley, cilantro and basil (for some reason, raising healthy herbs completely eludes me, no matter what, but, I press on). If you have any tips on any of these, or tips on raising a garden in a mild, wet, foggy climate, let me know.

And, the obligatory belly bump photo. I wasn’t going to do these this time, for some reason it just seemed unnecessary. But, all of a sudden I have this BELLY and I just have to share (and yes, I cleaned the mirror for you people. You should feel very special.):

Have a great week everyone!

This Hate Thing

We’re still caught up in an epic battle with the hate word. We’ve tried a variety of different methods for dealing with it, including all the ways you guys suggested. And thank you, I was dying for advice and it was great to see so much support come in.

What seemed to work, for a short, short time, was taking it VERY seriously. Acting very hurt and angry. Making him sit in his room and think about it for a while. But, then he started acting out at school. Bigtime. So, lesson learned. Anger won’t get us anywhere. But neither does acting like our feelings are hurt. That only seems to fuel it, really.

When he started freaking out at school, we got called in to talk about it (THE HORROR) and their basic stance on it is, let the kid say it. It’s just a word, after all. One that’s hard to hear from our flesh and blood, but just a word nonetheless.

If they are able to freely say it at home, an environment where they feel safe in pushing their boundaries, then they’re less likely to start saying it outside of home, to friends, etc.

If they do what the preschool teacher called a “drive-by”, where they just walk by and insult you: “I hate you.” “You’re stupid.” “You’re ugly.” with no real provocation, then that you can be upset about. Tell them you’re hurt, and it’s not a good word to use. But, if it’s in the heat of a denied-a-second-dessert fueled tantrum, then let it go.

And this might all sound like we’re being a little soft, but really it has been working. Sort of. He still says it. And it slips out at school once in a while. But, it has ebbed a little bit. And sometimes when I act all hurt and sad, he will quickly add, “I love you.”

I talked to a lot of other parents at preschool, and it seems like all of the kids are going through or have gone through the exact same thing. Which oddly makes me feel a lot better. There is a light at the end of this hate tunnel.

Ok, I need a little advice.

Bowie picked up a new phrase at some point, and started using it quite a bit while we were on our trip.

“I hate you!”

As in, I hate you Mommy, for making my PB&J with different jelly than what we have at home. I hate you Daddy, for making me put on sunscreen before sitting out in the hot, Hawaiian sun. I hate you Grandma for making me listen to my mommy. I hate you Grandpa for telling me to listen to Grandma and Mommy and Daddy. I hate you random kid I don’t know for splashing me in the pool.

Hate hate hate. One of my least favorite words, over and over. And I have no idea what to do about it.

If I ignore it, he keeps repeating it, louder and louder, until the entire universe has decided that I’m a bad parent.

If I respond, in any way, he wins. He gets attention. Negative attention, but attention nonetheless. And I seriously don’t think he’s not getting enough attention otherwise, though who knows. Maybe some kids need more than others?

So, help me bloggy universe. I think that this is a relatively normal phase. But, I would still like to nip it in the bud. Believe it or not, I don’t enjoy hearing “I HATE YOU!” 300 million times a day.

What do the “experts” say? What have you tried? What works? What doesn’t? HELP ME.

Regression

Bowie has been acting less and less mature lately, and it’s starting to irk me. A few examples:

1. He won’t sit with me during his preschool’s opening circle time. Ten minutes of welcome songs, finding out what’s for snack, and finding out what the day’s projects will be. When he was 2, he wouldn’t sit, but that’s to be expected. He’s been sitting for it this entire school year, but for the past week, he refuses. It’s okay if it’s a day or two, sometimes they need to just let loose. But it’s been more like 8 days. At this point, he’s just being obstinate. I hope when we return from winter break, this ends.

2. I figured we were fully and totally a potty trained household when, about a month ago, he started going into the bathroom on his own, pulling down his own pants, going potty and most of the time also pulling up his own pants. All of a sudden this week, he demands that I help him with the entire process. And if I, you know just hypothetically, tell him, “I’m really busy with dinner right now, could you please be the big boy I know you can be and do it yourself.” Then, I am rewarded with an accident mess to clean up.

3. He’s obsessed with age right now. The bigger kids at school are all turning 5, and he really likes to pretend to be 5, and be “a really big, strong boy”. Then yesterday, he announces he’s pretending to be 1. And he’s acting like a baby, not a big boy. But, not just for fun, he is working it. Anytime he doesn’t feel like doing something, he plays the baby card, “I’m 1, I’m a baby!”

So, Internet, what gives? Is this kind of regression normal sometimes? I kind of think he’s going through some kind of hormone-surge-growth-spurt kind of thing. Maybe that’s part of it?