Originally Posted by Denise K
Becky Bailey says 4 year olds ask approximately 400 questions a day.
Yeah, that seems about right.
Today favs were: Why can't we touch the sky? If we could touch the sky would it be like touching a ghost and our fingers would go right through? Why can't we feel the Earth moving? How can the Earth spin if its so heavy?
Great cookout story Denise! I love LOVE LOVE the sound of this! Working together, prepping the food, etc. Sounds like my kind of fun!
Life has been complicated at our house these days. DS is just really so very FOUR and a half. Every developmental issue that can
happen at this age has, and in grand fashion. I admit, there are days I want to run and hide. But play I do and play is healing. I am impressed by DS though. The stuff HE comes up with is astounds me. The less I focus on how to help him, the more I realize I need only participate when he's figured out a way to help himself. Stories from the saltmine:
Went to the library a few weeks back. They were preparing for some older kids to come in and create a paper dragon puppet for our town parade. DS was VERY interested, but it was clear that the librarian and the person in charge of the dragon were stressed and busy. He stood away from the action, up on a chair to see better and asked the person in charge: "What are you doing?" and sadly, the man blew him off (he mumbled something to DS but DS couldn't understand him and it was clear he didn't care to educate DS on the project). I was heartbroken for DS because I knew it took him a lot just for him to speak up and ask.
I immediately got some information from the desk and tried to explain, but I could tell DS was disappointed. Then I walked away to grab our stack of books and the librarian came over to DS (still standing on the chair) and very curtly told him to get his shoes off the chair). DS is terribly sensitive and as she walked away he melted down, embarrassed, disappointed and frustrated. She had every right to ask him to step down, but HOW she did was out of character for our library. I tried to explain to DS that she was probably just having a stessful day, etc., but DS was clearly mortified by the whole experience and went running for the door, tears running down his cheeks, "Why was she so mean?!" I was so upset, I started tearing up too and frankly, was pretty angry about the whole scene. Bad vibes that day I tell ya. Well, we got home and we were both still upset, DS was quiet. I was still fuming and frankly, having a hard time "getting over it" but I kept my own crap to myself aside from empathizing with DS. After we had a snack, DS perked up and then suggested that we make our own paper dragon. He was incredibly motivated toward this end. He started grabbing sheets of butcher paper and some chairs and with some scissors, tape and markers, we did indeed make our own dragon and there it stood as a momunment of therapy in the middle of our living room for an entire week. When it was finished, DS proclaimed: "This is a dragon for little kids and mommies to work on! No big kids and grumpy librarians!" Voila, the incident is healed and released for DS. I didn't tell DS, but Mommy still took a couple more days to "get over it."
I was so proud of him! And better, he was clearly proud of himself.
We've been dealing with some pretty major meltdowns lately over new and exciting stuff. DS has recently begun to enjoy playing board games and he loves them, and doesl get rather creative with the rules. DH and I have been very relaxed about the rules and take his lead but strangely, DS himself is clearly concerned about playing by the rules even when he sees cause to change them--this is our life right now. He seems caught somewhere between his happy, fantasy world and "the facts." Ah, its the very thing emotional growth spurts are made of, eh?
So, we were playing Monopoly. We'd been playing his Junior Monopoly game a ton, and he insisted we play the "real game." I just went with it and tried to make it as simple as possible for him to understand. He INSISTED we "play by the rules" however, and when I stopped to explain something as he asked me to do, he would clearly become frustrated and stressed. He seemed to understand the concepts but I think he just didn't feel a part of the game somehow. *sigh* At one point he just melted down. A full, half hour affair of this whiny, defeated crying to which I was little or no help.
I told him that its ok to walk away sometimes and play something else for awhile, I told him I was there for him and tried to hold him but he told me to back off. I tried making the game super silly, which usually helps but this just made him more angry. Finally, it occured to me that he needed to have a good cry about it. He needed to get it all out and so, I just stayed close, told him if he needed a hug that I was there and then, I waited. And waited. When it was over we played a bit more, wrapped up the game and went happily on with our day (after a big hug). One thing I did notice was that no matter how upset he got, he DID NOT use the colorful language he's so loves these days. He did NOT hit or bat at me when I got too close, he used his words to tell me to "back off." So much of our issue lately has seemed to be that DS's intellectual abilities far surpass his emotional abilities and for us, this was actually a huge leap forward. And the fact that he felt better afterward told me that it was a healing cry. One of the BIG CRIES that we all need sometimes. DS is not a meltdown kid but I sometimes wonder if he could use more meltdowns to release some of this hard stuff of growing up brings on.
Fast forward to the next day: DS MAKES his own Monopoly Game. Nevermind that we have two Monopoly games, he wanted to make his own. Drew a board by himself on a big piece of butcher paper (I'm convinced this household would literally fall apart if not for the big roll of butcher paper), all sorts of different squares and such, with different meanings and grabbed little dinosaurs for pieces, etc. He asked me to sit down and play so I did. And now, his own board COULD indeed have his own rules to be dispelled as the game went along at his whim. He was in complete control. Something about playing with his own board helped him feel good about using his own rules (which were great, not slanted in the least and very forgiving--at one point I ran out of money and DS said that the square I landed on entited me to a little extra to stay in the game). It seems when we play with the regular games, he feels torn between wanting to make up new new rules and playing by "their" rules. It's his nature to make things more interesting yet, he senses that changing things isn't OK somehow? We've always been relaxed about this so it definitely something DS is working through within and for himself.
Needless to say, I'm impressed at how he continues to help himself heal from life's upsets, and I'm grateful for being a part of it.
P.S. Sorry this is sooooo loooooog!