Friday, September 23, 2011

B6, Man of (Suddenly) Many Words

My little boy is doing better.

The tears diminished pretty quickly, first at school, then at home.  The cross I sent with him helped. (Thanks for that suggestion, dear reader!) First it was on a leather string around his neck; then, after the cheap metal loop pulled apart twice, we put it in his pocket.  Then one morning, he didn't know where it was.  He was sure it had made it home, but after that, he couldn't remember.  But he's been okay, getting on the bus without it these last few mornings.

But oh, the questions!  What heartbreakers!

Why do kids have to go to school?

Why does it have to be so long?

Why do you have to go to school right when you get up, and then when you get home, it's such a short time until you have to go to bed?

When you were little, did you miss your mom when you were at school?

Do you miss me while I'm at school?

Does it seem to you like I'm gone for a long time when I'm at school?

Why doesn't B12 have to go to school?

When you were in first grade, what was it like on your first day of school?

He's been asking lots of "When you were little, Mom" questions--the first child of mine that really showed great interest in my history!  However, I think what's behind it is a desire for me to relate to what he is going through.

What's so interesting to me about this flood of questions is that B6, up until now, hasn't really been much of a talker.  In fact, when he was younger, we wondered if he was going to have some speech issues because it was slow in coming, and he occasionally stutters a bit.  Mainly he's just been a young man of action, not words--rough and tumble and energetic and vigorous in all he does.  He's the kid with the engine!

Suddenly he's talking all the time--about his feelings, his questions, and his thoughts, random though they might be.  "You know, Mom, fences are a really good idea.  [Why, B6?]  Because if a robber came, and he had a flamethrower, and you saw him, then he could set the fence on fire instead of your house."

Yesterday he told me and B16 about something that happened at a friend's house, and he said the mom was  demonstrating how to use something.  B16 looked at me with a wide grin and said, "Hey, he just said 'demonstrating'!"  I know some 3-year-olds use words like that every day, but that was a silver-dollar word for our B6!

So this emotional thing he's going through has suddenly turned him into a talker and a question-asker, overnight.  It seems to be his way of processing. He hasn't been talking about school, really--mostly about his feelings or asking about mine.  Until the other night, when I was trying to get him to bed early and laid down next to him in the bed, in the dark.  It was just him and me; Chicklet was staying up to practice piano.  He asked questions about my experiences in first grade; then he started telling me about his--about getting in trouble for running into someone and knocking them down [typical B6!], about other kids who did really bad things, like kick and pinch, and how one of them kicked him, and what the teacher did, and how those two kids don't always come to school.

The most amusing thing he shared was about two other kids that he clearly respected greatly.  "They already know everything, Mom.  They were in first grade last year already!"  He went on and on, talking and asking questions.  Looking deep into my eyes, he asked, "When you were in first grade, did you wear glasses?"  I took a lot of time with him, patiently listening and answering his questions, and still he didn't run out of words.  I finally had to cut him off when Chicklet appeared in the doorway, sobbing, over-tired and frustrated with her piano pieces.  He was still talking as I kissed him goodnight and told him to go to sleep.

I'm so glad he's talking to me.  I'm glad he's processing his feelings; it seems pretty healthy, that he's getting it all out.  And it's been delightful to finally get a glimpse inside that tough little blond head.  There's a lot more deep stuff going on in there than I would have guessed!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I miss him so much, I feel like I'm missing out on him growing up now that I'm away! Give him and Chicklet a hug from big sis. Much love!

Matt said...

He's such a sweet kid - I enjoyed playing soccer with him and his friend a few months ago. I think I muddied up my clothes nice and good that day! Sounds like his transition to school has been difficult, but that he is talking about it is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

For most of us in growing up, school was a given, an expected thing. We just took it for granted. Since his family has had both scenarios going on, it's possible he's struggling with what the reason is that he "has" to go to school, ie. did I do something wrong, is it my fault, etc., like a kid wonders when there's been a divorce in the family. Maybe he just needs reassurance, and can't quite say his real fears??? Lots of love, Pianomum