Sunday, September 29, 2013

A promising scene, and a new worry

Kiddo's school had its annual PTA ice cream social last week. Basically it's a PTA meeting for about two seconds and then it's an excuse to give the kids ice cream and let them run around the auditorium, and then outside on the playground in the dark. You'd think that would be a bad idea, but there have been no reported injuries, and there's just enough ambient light that you can more or less pick out your kids on the jungle gym or wherever they are. The only problem is when you decide it's bedtime, and then your children, hopped up on ice cream and the thrill of after-hours playground time, scatter to the winds and now you have to chase after them in the dark. I think strobe lights would be really helpful in this case. Someone could flash them on selected kids as needed and then the parents could more easily grab them. Or possibly this would be a good reason to install homing devices on their hoodies. Either way.

What I liked about the social was watching kiddo (before we moved outside, that is). He fell right in with the other boys from his class. They ran around the room together. They created an ad-hoc conga line together. One sweet kid with a gap-toothed smile even came over to DH to ask if he was kiddo's dad, and then to introduce himself. Pretty good manners for a first-grader.

I've always been most worried about kiddo's interactions with other kids, because social cues are so hard for him, he has issues with personal space, he can't handle losing at anything, he's not always good at sharing toys, etc. I tend to worry about that more than his academics, although admittedly his academics are so far pretty good so that's an easy choice to make. But he's clearly getting along with other kids. They were coming over to say hi to him, to give him a hug, to get him to come play. And that's really reassuring. Also, I will be sad when they all outgrow hugging each other, because it's so adorable.

I also said hi to kiddo's kindergarten teacher, who is super-involved and always at school functions, and she said nice things about his current teacher (and about us). So that was reassuring too.

The worry, right now, is kiddette.

I have at times described her as tough, assertive, determined, not afraid of things. All of which will be really beneficial for her when she's grown up and ruling the planet. Right now, though, she's getting in trouble at preschool. She isn't listening to her teacher. She talks back at times. She's being a total disruption at naptime, noisy, throwing a book when she's done with it. We're having obedience issues at home, too.

At the ice cream social, she was the only little girl running right around with the boys, doing everything they did (including jumping right up on the stage in the multipurpose room, even after I'd told her not to), and at the end of the night, she was the one who was harder to corral for bedtime. She had a total meltdown about needing to go home.

So. Running around, not listening, being defiant, throwing things, getting in trouble at school. Stop me if you've heard this song before?

I'd say it's too early to diagnose kiddette, except that kiddo was diagnosed at age 4. She doesn't seem to have the sensory issues he does, but ... well. Either she's potentially got ADHD or she's being an unbelievable brat right now for no good reason.

I think it's probably too early to panic. But it has been a real struggle to stop myself from yelling at her on just about a daily basis. I'm inclined to take a wait-and-see approach, though in the meantime I'm going to use the techniques I use on kiddo and see if they work.

I don't think I want two kids with ADHD. That is entirely too much chaos.

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