Friday, January 21, 2011

Small Victories

Good Lookin' started Pre-school and LOVES it!!! For those that know me well, you know how huge this is. He is one of the big reasons I quit homeschooling and nearly checked myself into a mental institution.

He is my precious boy that blew ALL my other parenting skills out of the water. The child that I was sure one of us would not survive toddler-hood. The child, that if I'd have been blogging at the time, you would have thought I was the world's worst parent.

He is the reason I decided NOT to fight Nater Mater on nap time or scheduling or any of that stuff. He's the one that when I read Dobson's book Parenting the Strong-Willed Child, I could check off EVERYTHING on his strong-willed checklist as well as 98% of the checklist on Raising the Highly Sensitive Child.

This is my child that I have been told that I hover over too much by people who don't know me all that well. (He has been known to hit, kick, bite, scream for hours on end when he goes to a new place). It took me a while to learn that he was an Introvert, Highly Sensitive, Black and White, Choleric Personality. As I have done tons of reading, loads of PRAYING and hours of crying over him, I have realized we have a unique and precious treasure that God has given us. I cannot change who he is and should not, but God is showing us how to help mold his unique little personality into this bright, inquisitive, HIGHLY ENERGETIC, highly affectionate, all-out there precious little boy.

We did preschool 2 years ago and he was basically kicked out for screaming 4 hours a day 5 days a week and causing disruption. God knew I needed to be at home with him and not working and I'm glad the child let it be known that he was unhappy that mommy was at work all day (I'm happy in hindsight because at the time it was humiliating and I felt like the world's worst parent). His dear teacher, and I still have so much respect for her and would recommend her hands down to any parent, thought we should have him evaluated. We didn't. I quit my job, came home, prayed for God to provide the money we so desperately needed and focused intently that year on my 3rd child. He blossomed before my eyes.
It IS HARD being the middle child sandwiched between the "better behaved" naturally more docile siblings. I remember. In many ways I understood Good Lookin' and what he was going through. I had been there! I still have vivid memories of my older siblings and my younger brother being so "perfect" when all I wanted to do was throw myself on the floor and scream and throw a fit. There was something so satisfying in letting all that tension out. But being the mother on the other end has given me a whole new appreciation for my dear mother!

Speaking of which, she got to be there for his first day of preschool. He was nervous. He was not happy about having his picture taken. He frowned and violently screwed up his face when his sister said he would have fun. (But we'd taken him to visit the room several times before this day, so he wasn't going into the unknown). He WAS excited to show his Grammy though and was very happy she got to go with him to see his classroom on his first day of school.

I am happy to say that he LOVED it!! He played nicely with the other children. He LOVED LOVED LOVED the sensory bean table and hardly looked up when we said goodbye. I can't say that I blamed him. When I ran my hands through that huge pile of beans, I wanted to dive into the whole pile and roll around. (yes, he is a lot like me). Self control momma. Self control.
When we had a Snow Day on his second day of school he was a bit disappointed and secretly I was happy. He wants to go back. Not only will he survive preschool but preschool with survive him.


Wendy said...

Melinda, I wish I'd read this sooner.
just to tell you that I KNOW. I'm there. Today was a...difficult day... and although I've realized, like you, that the "difficult child" is also the unique and special and amazing child, some days are still just so hard to get through. I cried today out of frustration. I LOVE my kids with all of my heart, but my boys-- particularly the youngest two-- just absolutely wear me out. Trevor has a lot of sensory "issues." for instance, he won't wear button shirts. And he's SO LOUD, as if he truly can't hear anything else around him. And Oli is "all boy," as some say, complete with meltdowns. Plus night terrors. :( Some days are just so challenging and exhausting.
I'm so happy to see Good Lookin' making progress. It gives me hope!! :)

Soaring High said...

I hear ya Wendy. I'm honestly afraid to let people babysit Timothy because they won't understand and he'll be labled the "problem kid." What most people dont understand is that he's improved so much!!!
Ben still has night terrors although not as often as he used too. When he was 3, 4, 5 and the first part of 6, it was almost a nightly occurance. Exhausting to say the least. At least during the day, he's a pretty sweet kid!