Thursday, December 18, 2008

Encouragement for Moms of Wild Little Boys (or Girls)

When I picked Kyle up from school yesterday, the teacher turned to me and said, "Oh, he's doing SO well this year."

This is a drastic change from the tone of the letter that I wrote him last year after the preschool open house right before he started school, which ended like this:

You like children. You have been learning to play with others and to share since you were very young. I'm not sure why you are acting as if you have never had a playdate. I know that when we went to the parent-child open house at the preschool today that you were very excited about all the toys and the fun setting, so I hope that you will take heed of this advice, so that you (and I) will be able to enjoy your couple of hours away from home twice each week.

Her comment was totally out of the blue. I didn't ask. He hadn't had a bad day recently. But in light of last year, where I did ask, and he did have bad days, I guess she wanted to make sure that I knew.

There were seriously times when he was two or three that I didn't think that I'd be able to go anywhere. Short forty-minute presentations in Amanda's classrooms were a nightmare.

"Kyle, no! Kyle, sit down. Stay by me. Shhhhhh!"

Why can't he just sit there? Look at all the other younger siblings sitting quietly. Yes, I was prepared with all the normal tools: snacks, activity books, trains, but if it was a wiggly day, it just didn't matter.

This summer I began to notice him gaining more self control. As I shared, when he started staying in church with us for the first part before going to children's church, I didn't think that we'd be able to do it. "That's insane!" I thought. "He can't sit there for thirty minutes!"

But each week he does. Sometimes he's louder or more wiggly than others, but for the most part he does just fine.

So, just as dear friends told me when I thought that I'd never be able to take him anywhere, I will tell you: It will get better. He (or she -- I do not type-cast gender expectations here) will grow up. It might happen at four or eight, but it will happen. You will be able to take him places.

The best advice I got from those friends was not to fret too much about it. I felt guilty that I always chose to get a friend to help me out to watch him for Amanda's events. He should be able to sit there! It's a reasonable expectation! But for him, at that time in his life, it wasn't. That's who he is, and that's okay.

So when September comes, it seems that he will be ready for Kindergarten after all. I had noticed his maturity increasing, and I'm glad to know that his teacher has seen it in the classroom as well.


Kimberly/Mom in the City said...

That's so great Jennifer! (Kyle was great at the Shop & Stop event - Michael really enjoyed his new "friend"!)

Katrina said...

Hooray for Kyle! And yes...eventually, they do grow up. And they are eventually ready to sit still.

Along these lines, we're going to be brave -- or maybe crazy -- and take Logan to Camden's Christmas musical program tonight. I'm packing quiet toys, and I'm fully prepared to carry him out. But we'll try.

dad said...

Way to go, Grandson. We noticed a big difference (improvement) in him during our last visit.

Jen Rouse said...

After having an exceptionally difficult morning with my own spirited 4-year-old when I wanted her to sit quietly and play with toys while we got some pictures of her baby sister taken at a photo studio, this encouraging post came at just the right time for me today. It's helpful to get a reminder that I'm not the only one going through these things, and that growing up really is possible!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Yeah for learning self-control!!

I keep reminding myself about the different stages. She will sit quietly through church... He will sleep all night without peeing... He will learn to read... He will sleep more than 3 hours at a time... = )

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I have definitely experienced this over time. Yay for you & Kyle!


Musings of a Housewife said...

Great post! And moms with kids who are NOT that way need to read this as much as those who have kids that are. We all need to give each other (and our kids, and their kids, lol) grace to grow at their own pace.