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What do you do when…

What do you do when…

your kid is THAT kid at school and in other activities outside of school? I have two boys. One of them is everything you imagine a 4-year-old boy to be. He’s smart. He’s funny. He’s rough as shit but loves his momma fiercely and loves to snuggle.  He loves to sing and dance.  He has a temper that could give Trump a run for his money. He’s great at sports and makes friends wherever he goes. He’s every 4-year-old boy I’ve ever met. And then I have the 5-year-old who is not completely opposite, but a sort of different that I feel needs more of my attention. I most definitely focus on him more and am more worried about how he does out in the world than I am with the younger guy. Yes, I’ve got guilt about it but 4 is by no means, short on attention. He demands it. With 5…I worry every day. He flies under the radar. He doesn’t like to sing or dance. He holds his ears when automatic toilets flush.  He’s loving and sensitive. Doesn’t like outdoor sports if it’s hot but is all about the indoor ones. He’s crushing it at hockey. He gets frustrated and will run to his room but in thirty seconds, he’s over it. Like, it’s totally forgotten. He acts up a lot when he’s in groups. Does goofy things to make people laugh. He is five, so we just try and deal with it as it happens. The kid is brilliant! We’ve known that since he was 15 months old and could tell all of his letters and the sounds. By 18 months, he knew upper and lower case and all of his numbers. He knew his colors and shapes by age two. I remember being pregnant and telling Fred not to expect that from the next one because this was extraordinary. He was doing 24 piece puzzles before he was two. The kid was/is smart. No doubt about that. So, we put him in school at age two. He could make friends and load that little brain up with more amazing things. But soon after he started school, his teachers were asking me if I’d had him tested. For what? They didn’t really say but spectrum was implied. Whaaaat? Slow your roll.  He was noisy at nap (He stopped napping really early on) and would have hard times with transitioning from activity to activity.  He didn’t interact with others much either. Sounded like a two-year-old to me but I start trippin’ because his teachers thought it was worth bringing up. We see a child psychologist who observed him for over an hour and she saw no markers. I asked the pediatrician, I still do, if he sees anything and every time it’s a no. So, he moves on to the three-year-old class and the only thing they really have issues with is the transition time. His teachers give him five-minute warnings and he’s fine. I ask how he does with friends because he tells me that he doesn’t play with anyone and could not name one kid in his class. They were “this kid” and “that boy”. I’d ask him who he played with and he’d tell me he played with Jack on the playground.  She assures me that he does play with friends and I try not to think about it anymore. But NOW. This is his final year of preschool. He starts kindergarten next year and my anxiety about him going is through the damn roof. I wonder how he’ll do in big guy school where the teachers are busier and they just can’t do the one on one that he’s used to right now. I talk to his teachers daily to find out how he’s doing. They assure me he’s awesome and everyone loves to be around him. He tells great stories and makes them laugh. We had to get onto him about his potty words because he found out FART, POOP, BUTT, and PENIS make people laugh. But he’s telling clean jokes now, she tells me. But on our rides home from school, we have the same conversation every day. To both boys…How was your day? Best part? Any bad parts you want to tell me about? Did you eat your lunch? Were you nice to your friends today? Were they nice to you? With 4, it’s always the same (awesome!) and if I can get him to stop talking long enough, 5 will answer too. Most days, it’s all positive but when it’s not, it crushes me. _______ said I wasn’t his friend and he didn’t want me next to him. _______ and _______ pushed me off a bike and laughed at me. ________ took something away from me and wouldn’t give it back. ______ stuck his foot out while I was running and made me fall. I was trying to stop _______ and _______ from fighting and they pushed me down the hill and kept fighting.  Man. Now, I’m not dumb, I’ve worked in preschools for a long time and this stuff is just par for the course but when it’s your kid that it’s happening to, it’s hard to let it go. I ask if he tells his teachers. He says sometimes. He even told me they were too busy to help him one day. They didn’t say that to him ( I love his teachers and his entire school), he just thought on his own that he didn’t want to bother them with it because they looked busy to him. I’ve stressed a thousand time that they need to know if something is happening so they can help him and teach the other kid that certain behaviors aren’t cool. Well, that’s school. I’m not there. I trust his teachers and know they’ve got it all under control there. BUT three of his classmates are on his baseball team. I was behind the dugout the other day and heard and saw them being cruel to my kid and my heart just broke for him. One was pushing him down the bench with his cleated foot to get him away from them. Oy!  He looked sad for a second but then turned to look at me and he smiled. They’re in line to congratulate the other team on a good game, and I see 5 patting his teammate on the back. Could it have been annoying? Absolutely. He can be. But this kid pushed him back really hard. He fell. My kid would never hurt anyone and that killed me to see that go down.  But if they did this at the game, I’m betting they’re doing it at school and I just don’t want him feeling left out or being picked on. He’s a super great kid. If he’d stand up for himself like the 4-year-old does, I wouldn’t worry half as much but he doesn’t understand that they’re not being kind and just takes it with a smile. Is this anything? What am I supposed to do about this stuff? Seriously. I’m asking. I don’t think I’m being too sensitive but I guess there’s always that possibility.

PS: This is mostly for me. He is really a typical kid and has no idea anything is going on. He just tells me when I ask and has already moved on. He plays with other children in his class who absolutely adore him. I know. I’ve seen it. So, don’t feel bad for him. Saturday’s game just got to me. Who couldn’t like this awesome kid that loves everyone and tells them so, ya know? That’s all.

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