This is probably the silliest post ever composed, but here it goes. If you make it to the end, you're a saint.
Oh, and I should disclose that I'm 22 weeks pregnant, so hormones are playing no small part here.
I love the idea of a Waldorf education, however, we are not sending 4yo DS to either of the local Waldorf schools ("local" = 40 minutes to either) because of aforementioned distance and lack of finances. Pledging is an option at one, but we seriously have NO extra time to work at the school because we truly are that strapped. Both DH and I work 40+ hours/week just to keep a modest home over our heads, our old cars on the road and nourishing food in our bellies. I only emphasize this point because I've crunched the numbers a thousand times and if I hear one more (albeit well-meaning) person say "why don't you just go work at the school?" or something similar, I will cry (even more than I already have). For the same reason, and because I truly am not the right parent for it, homeschooling is probably not an option either.
What I'm hoping for, hence the silliness of the post, is that someone here will tell me that DS will turn out just fine without a Waldorf education. More accurately, with a rather "mainstream" education. (Duh, right? Then why am I such a stress case?)
He's a unique kid. He's kinetic. He has powerful emotions and is very expressive of nearly all of them. He's an excellent climber and runner. He seems to truly like to do "work" (chopping wood with his dad, cutting up paper, grinding cinnamon sticks, filling bottles of water etc). He melts down when he can't physically accomplish the things he wants to. He has always had a really difficult time getting to sleep, and almost always seems to need just a bit more but can't settle down. He hates underwear and most pants. Socks with seams are pretty much the devil.
Recently he's been experimenting with "telling on" people as a means to get them to do what he wants (mainly to play his way, or let him do whatever it was they told him not to). He does not discriminate by age, he'll tell on ANYONE. He takes correction very hard. If he climbs on the counter and I shake my head, he hops down and storms off crying "does this mean I have to go in timeout!?" (For the record, we do not use timeout at our house). He has what my friend refers to as a "viper tongue" when he's been crossed (and he often feels like someone's done him wrong). He can be a very strong advocate for himself, which is to say he will yell at and/or take things and/or get physical if he feels he must. He is also incredibly empathetic, helpful and often thoughtful beyond his age. He is engaging with adults and babies, though more reserved with children his own age. He loathes playing solo and wants my constant interaction, or to be "helping" with DH or I as we work around the house. He idolizes some older boys in our social circle and would like nothing more than to talk about farts and wrestle with them all day long.
He has almost no interest in drawing and seems to find it very difficult. Same with writing, so we haven't pushed either. He loves stories to be read or told to him. He's interested in the relationship of numbers to one another. He recognizes most letters and single-digit numbers, and can count/recite them. He figures out where parts fit onto machines, and how to make things work. He does not remember what he did 3 hours ago (when prompted to tell someone about how fantastic it was) but will remember a dog he met once when he was 2. He does not hear me when I gently call to him while he's playing with other children, but will walk across the room and cover my mouth if I am telling someone else about his amazing accomplishments. Inversely (and not atypically, I bet) he flips out when I finally raise my voice and shout that he must not push little Sarah, and appears oblivious when I tell another adult about my ordinary day.
Doesn't he seem like he could benefit so much from a Waldorf education? Or am I just projecting because I find it so beautiful and soothing? It seems like it would be just what he needs, but I need to get over that because it's not possible.
I know he's not the first kid to fit the description above, but I also know he's got some "stuff" going on and needs my support and guidance. But lately I'm so fried by the huge mood swings (his, really) and constant battles over silly little things that I'm at a loss. I feel like everything I do as a parent is wrong, even when on paper it seems just right (firm yet gentle, honest, kind, available). Even though I said "I'm NOT homeschooling my kid", I realize that what he picks up on around our house will have a huge impact on how he views the world and interacts with others. How can I not interpret some of his sassiness and reactivity as a evidence of poor parenting? And what on earth can I do to turn this around?
And I'm sending him off to school in a couple weeks. SCHOOL!?! I am so terrified of getting negative feedback about his behavior, although I'm aware that it's probably an ego thing for me. I'm also worried that he'll be ostracized by his peer for being "weird" or worse, for being mean to them.
If you made it this far, I applaud you! Now tell me, is there any hope for me becoming less neurotic and DS more balanced? Will school be as awful as I think?