December 2, 2014

F O U R

november 25, 2014

My baby boy turned four last week. It's been four years since he made me a mother and changed everything forever. It's difficult to remember life without him by my side, yet hard to believe that there is no baby left in his long limbs. It's been an amazing honor to spend every day with him, help him learn, and watch him grow. 

He is such a smart, funny, and sensitive little person. For months, I have been watching with pride at how mature and easy going he's become. His confidence is building, and he is opening up and talking more freely with friends, and even new people. But after a fall filled with few tantrums and the best of behavior, we have hit a rough patch in the last few weeks. 

He doesn't want to go to school or speech therapy anymore, and every morning is a battle. He tells me that he is going to knock down his school, and all schools, so that he can't go. He just wants to stay home with me and his sister. He also begs me not to teach on the two nights that I leave an hour before his bedtime. Almost every morning, he asks what we are doing that day, if I am going to teach that night... I sense that he feels his plate is just too full, but it is difficult to know how to make it better.

I deliberately haven't enrolled him in any extracurricular activities, it's simply three mornings of preschool and two mornings with a short speech class. I imagine many kids have far more scheduled days, but for him, it's a lot... and I hate seeing him so clearly uncomfortable with the pace. 

I debate if I should cut back on teaching or take some time off, if I should pull him out of preschool or reduce speech class to a single day. I sift through all of the possibilities over and over, but ultimately I think these commitments are good for him, or good for me... it feels like we are both holding our nose and drinking down some awful tasting medicine, and I am just hoping that I am right, that this is what is best for both of us in the long run.  

And we are working to make the most of all the free time that we do have together. It's easy to burn through these short winter days on errands, but taking the twenty minutes to walk, instead of driving to school, talking and collecting leaves along the way, it makes all the difference. 

To my buggy, happiest of birthdays. You are the sweetest and most curious four year old that I know, and I am grateful for everything that you have taught me, and excited for all of the adventures ahead. May this year be filled with lots of fun, and many slow days to explore your heart's desire.

three / two / one

6 comments:

  1. I think it is fairly common for kids around 4 & 5 to start going through separation anxiety (not wanting to go to school, not wanting you to leave). They are starting to realize that they are not part of you, but rather a separate individual-- at 2 & 3 that dawning awareness leads to the "no's" and tantrums as they explore free will, at 4 & 5 they get more nervous and want to regress. After 5 they are much more comfortable in their own skin-- at least until puberty and the tween years hit. Sigh.
    You are a wonderful mother, really. Keep doing what you are doing!

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  2. Happy birthday to your little sweetheart! I agree with Taby - you are awesome and you should keep doing what you're doing. I feel for you. I went through this with my son, who is extremely sensitive. I felt terrible forcing him off to school each day. It's not a whole lot of fun, but it gets better. :)

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  3. Happy Birthday, W! I can't believe he's four! Here's hoping that any anxieties about school or being away from you drift off, maybe it's a phase? You are right to recognize these feelings in him either way. It shows that you know him well and respect his feelings -- I think that alone is a really good quality to have as a mama!

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  4. I consider withdrawing Naomi from school every morning I send her. And what is it about that question, Mama what are we doing today? Happy Birthday! 4 is just around the corner for us. xx

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  5. My son is three and a half, and he takes a LONG time to warm up to new things. He's been going to the same preschool for about 6 months, and only in the last few weeks has he finally LIKED going. He always liked it once he was there... after a meltdown of tears and screams in the doorway. When I'd pick him up he would be happily playing and tell me enthusiastic stories about the day. But my goodness, I questioned pulling him out for months. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Happy Birthday!

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  6. Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes, and sharing the stories of school dread! We are working through it. I know it's typical in many ways, but there are a few other behaviors (like holding pee forrrrevvver) that make me think he's feeling out of control or pushed too far... he does have a good time once he is at school, so I guess that's something!

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