Mel, I hope you have a better evening and the bleeding and cramping stop quickly and you enjoy an uneventful weekend!
Nakedy kid--yeah that here too sometimes. Usually the pants get jettisoned for the potty or in the process of getting dressed and then it just doesn't happen.
Theresa--I was going to respond to your initial post but didn't get a chance. You've already gotten a lot of feedback, but I was going to say this--it seems to me like you have two issues here. One is the response to the specific play theme/behavior (aka gun play/shooting) but another and to me more important is the issue of the relationships of these other people to Woody. Maybe I'm wrong about the structure of the school and setting you're working in/have Woody in, but it seems to me that it's not an analagous situation to, say, a grandparent reacting to something a kid does during a family gathering, or a friend of yours stepping in during a playdate at one of your homes or at a park. He's in a situation in which he's part of a school community and he has some other adult caregivers interacting with/responsible for him during the day while you are working, even if only on the playground, therefore it seems to me that based on what I've heard of your situation (and correct me if I'm wrong about it) these other people actually are in somewhat of a position to rightfully be disciplining or correcting him if his behavior is disturbing, disruptive, dangerous, or in violation of established rules. So I'd separate the two questions into: are these people overstepping their bounds in disciplining him? Or are they just reacting to/handling a specific situation in a way that you don't like or don't agree with? Because he's with you in a work/school setting, I don't think it's analagous to the situations most of us have with friends or relatives and probably not with coworkers--none of the people from our work lives (me and DH) have any connection or interaction with our child, except the occasional party at someone's house which we bring her to. It may be more analagous to a situation one of us would have with a babysitter, daycare provider, or teacher, than with relatives/friends/coworkers. I'd consider thinking about it from that angle--for instance, if these people were his preschool teachers or babysitters, what conversation would you want to have with them? Seems to me that part of your difficulty with this is that *you* have an issue with Woody's behavior too--you're not really comfortable with the gun play/shooting either, but are trying to find different ways to accomodate the behavior since discouraging it didn't work. Especially if they are bringing him to you with what essentially seems like a request for you to "make him stop" I do think too that essentially some of it may be addressed as a feelings/boundaries issue--for instance, if he were hitting another teacher or speaking disrespectfully to them or calling them names, you might realize that this was age appropriate behavior and also something he's imitating from older children on the playground, but still have a discussion with him about the fact that when you hit people it hurts them or when you call people names it hurts their feelings and makes them feel sad (or whatever.) You could choose to address this in a similar way: "Suzy doesn't like it when you pretend to shoot her, because real guns can hurt people." It could also be potentially addressed as a public/private issue, of situationally appropriate behavior. (Similar to the nudity/self touching issue we were discussing.) Ie, pretending to play with guns and shooting is okay at home, but not at school or around other people. Anyway, just some things to think about . . . . Not that I am the child behavioral expert or anything myself! I am challenged by behavioral stuff on an hourly basis! Today during/after lunch at the mall I was about ready to just duct tape Ella's hands down at her sides and duct tape her to me (obviously not really though) because she would not stop grabbing everything and just running off . . . I was getting soo frustrated! My fault because we were both overtired and it makes her faster, more likely to wander around and not listen to me, and makes my patience thin as well. I've also noticed she's unusually attuned to other people, to emotions and energies. So, my bad for taking her into that situation post-preschool when I knew that she didn't sleep much last night and would be even more tired from preschool, and not have a lot of energy to manage her behavior. But I just can't resist a Panera invite from my favorite local DDC mama!
We had a meltdown in the car in the parking lot followed by a FOUR HOUR nap!!!
Spughy--it's a different house. I interpreted the hallway in a potentially more ethereal and metaphysical way. Probably moreso because at Brynn's birthday party last week DH and I were talking with Amy's DH about a book he's reading about near-death experiences, and how most people who've had these experiences report very similar phenomena, such as floating above/outside of their bodies watching, a bright light, and a tunnel. So that was fresh in my mind and I guess that it seems to me that if there's a tunnel going from life to death, there may be a similar experience on the way in that most of us can't remember! So I wondered if that was what she meant by "the hallway"--becoming embodied as a fetus/baby. Either that or it just occured to her right then while she was running down the hallway to her room!
Tonight after dinner we went to a candlelight tour at Locust Grove--it's a 1789 plantation that is open to the public as historic site. It was really neat--I have not been inside there before although I've seen it from the outside. Tonight they had volunteers dressed up/acting in period costume and parts as the Clark/Croghan family in 1820, one of the preeminent founding families in this area and relatives of the Clark of "Lewis and Clark" fame. The plantation house was lit by candlelight, and there were various "family members" in all the rooms of the house explaining about the rooms, the times, the effects, etc. There were musicians and dancers in the second-story ballroom, and in the outbuilding toolshed/workshop (warmed by a real fire in the fireplace) there were "carpenters" "repairing" tools. In the children's room they had a boy who is probably about 10, in period dress, who showed and explained the popular toys of the period (whirlygig, ball and cup, Jacob's ladder, pig bladders blown up as balloons) and let the visitors play with them (well except the pig bladders!) My favorite part, of course, was the outbuilding kitchen--two slave cooks, in period costume but not completely character (they explained that for the slaves they do interpretive history rather than reenactment because there is so much less record left of some aspects of their lives, for instance the dialect and manners of speech, that they don't have enough to really be accurate.) They had a fire in the HUGE fireplace and all manner of plants and herbs hanging to dry, they explained that they have a kitchen herb and vegetable garden that they still keep planted according to how it was per historical records, various pots, pans, oak water buckets, yokes for carrying water buckets, a big bronze pan, loofah and lye soap for washing dishes, a few vegetables and spices on the big work table, etc. It was really interesting. I think they still have slave quarters there too, although I don't know if they are original or reproduction, and they seem to make an effort these days to represent the darker (no pun intended) side of the history in their general educational programs and also in special programs that deal specifically with slavery there at that plantation, and in this area of the country.