Archive for April 6th, 2009

There’s a first for everything

First day of day care for my littlest. Such a big boy and yet so little (and bald). He’s the littlest by far (and the baldest) but I’m informed he’s ‘awfully cuddly’. Damn right he is.

In other news, we’re having a few issues (pronounced iss – ues like a pouncy ’tissues’) with A. Did I mention he’s OFF THE RAILS! I oscillate between thinking he’s just your average 3 year old who happens to chose the least opportune moments to demonstrate his diabolical talents, to feeling that there might be something wrong. Have I told you he’s a bit OCD with Thomas?*

He’s strangely shy. I say strangely because it doesn’t manifest itself in obvious ways, at least ways I would expect. He’s terribly threatened by strangers. He’s kinda a cute kid so people are always coming up to speak to him or chuck his cheek (is that what you do to a kid’s cheek?), tickle his chin, ruffle his hair, pat his baby brother etc. His standard response is to say, “I don’t like you. You’re not coming to my house.” I’m usually prepared and so start talking loudly as he begins his evil diatribe. This seems to drown out the rather frightening insults so that usually they go unnoticed. But occasionally someone cocks their head to one side, raises an eyebrow and asks the young man to be polite. It is soooo embarassing and quickly transforms a very cute, winsome little boy into a Damian look-alike.

While it’s easy to get angry at this kind of behaviour (and trust me I have…to no avail), it’s taken me a long time to realise that this is his reaction to feeling somewhat threatened. He’s not social and so when someone he doesn’t know comes so far into his personal space, he clearly freaks out and uses the only insults he know will make them go away. And usually they do.

It’s my (and C’s) responsibility to teach him gently but firmly, that people’s intentions (usually) are kind and good and respectful, and that their friendliness makes our world a better place. I need to teach him not to be afraid (and he really is fearful of so much….I’m not sure why) and that trusting people, especially those we may not know, is a powerful and generative gesture. This is much harder than getting angry at this rude words. Taking away a treat. Banning dessert. Turning the Thomas DVD off. Or confiscating Percy. This is the big, heavy stuff that I never really prepared for.

I guess, though, that this is the exact stuff we’re made of. Both him and I.

Anyone have the same thing with their children? I’d be very interested (and importantly, grateful) to hear of any useful tips or similar stories.


*Perhaps a slight exaggeration although I’d be interested in him having some ‘tests’ done. He’s daycare teachers joke DAILY  about his train obsession and have made accomodations so that he can be included in the group WHILE PLAYING WITH HIS TRAINS,  which means not included at all. Just a sense of physical proximity so that he doesn’t wonder where everyone is.

April 2009