Sammy, for the past week-ish, has turned into a completely different kid. He's grouchy and talks back and just seems...angry. He's been to time out more this past weekend than, well, ever. We had a church function Saturday night and I spent my time reprimanding him through clenched teeth and sitting him in time out. You know, in front of everyone, making my heightened sense of parental failure that much more acute. By Sunday evening, I was at the end of my patience and couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. The heat? Exhaustion? Frustration? Couple that with my lingering thoughts that something really is wrong with him and, well...
I've been watching him closely with others and all of my worries have come back, full force. Instead of playing, like a normal child, my child turns himself in circles, talking to himself. Zeros in on the people WAY older than him (more often than not, adult women) to play with. Product of being an only child or...? I don't know. But I do know that he's scared of everything, won't play with others (or, at least play unless they are doing it "right") and is just...I don't know. Off? Quirky? An only? A son of a woman with OCD? Something.
And, of course, we are back to the same argument Isaac and I always have about this. He thinks Sammy's fine. He thinks I'm too hard on him. He thinks I expect too much from him. He thinks I'm overreacting.
So yesterday, I relaxed. We stayed home. I worked a little and Sammy played. The anger seemed to be gone, I seemed less annoyed and we had a fairly typical relaxed day. But the doubts are still there. I don't want my kid to be the one being beat up because he's different. I don't want my kid to be whispered about because he's on the play ground turning in circles and talking to himself; the kid who's TOO different it's feared and reviled.
I feel as though I'm failing as a parent much, much of the time. I don't know what I'm doing and most of my decisions seem fear based. I'm flailing. I really am. I probably AM expecting too much from him. But it's only because I've been so terrified that he won't be ok, that I strive for more and more to prove that he is. I never know what I'm doing; how I'm doing. He doesn't seem to get the things he SHOULD get at his age and totally gets things he shouldn't. I feel as though I'm trying to parent a 25 year old in a 4 year old's body and I'm completely out of sorts about it.
I get that we have a great kid. He sensitive and polite. He cleans up after himself. He follows guidelines and rules to a fault. He loves people and loves to talk. He wants everyone to be his friend. He hates conflict and screaming (which, we actually got to the bottom of his screaming at loud noises at the church activity. Some kid screamed, so Sammy started in with his Toy Story scream and when he calmed down, finally told Isaac that when someone screams he's afraid they are mad at HIM. Sigh. Where did that come from? We're not exactly screamers around here...especially because we know how sensitive he is to our disapproval.). But. But. There's always a but, right? I have a good kid, but...something feels off. And the more I try to have him let go and just have fun and not worry, the more I worry.
(evanescence - bring me to life)