Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Easton's first birthday

Easton officially turns one tomorrow (sniff, sniff! Where has the time gone?), but we celebrated last week. Easton threw up the day before his party and the day after, so I don't think he was feeling his best on his special day. You'll see for yourself how thrilled he was at the whole thing, especially the cake.

Easton will grandma, waiting for the festivities to start. He looks
so excited right?

Pile of presents and other random bits of interesting things left from Camden.

Opening presents with Camden's help. Easton loves to tear paper, but we never let him, so I think he was a little shocked that we actually encouraged him to do so.

Finally getting into it and having fun.
One of my students bought Eastie this hat. I loved it so much that I made him w
ear it for the rest of his presents.
Easton with his favorite gift of the event.

The cake! We call Easton our sunshine because he is such a happy, smiley boy, so we felt it was only appropriate his cake be a sun. Mark and I had a lot of fun making and decorating this cake.
Easton was less than enamored with the whole cake thing.
Easton didn't understand what he should do with the whole cake thing, so Daddy stepped in to help.

Easton didn't like the feel of the frosting on his fingers, so he thought throwing it on the dog was a great option.

Cutting the cake into pieces didn't make it any better.

I tried to feed him bites of cake, thinking that would get him interested, but you can see how well that turned out (and I don't know why the flash decided to stop working here).
Yeah, that whole eating cake thing didn't turn out so well. Neither of my boys have eaten their cakes on their birthday. I promise it is good cake really! In his defense, he got sick the next morning, so that may have been why we got such great first birthday cake pictures.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hard news to hear

Sometimes being a mother can break your heart. Not long after my last post about Camden, I received a phone call from his preschool that shattered my world. His preschool teacher called me to pick him up because he was behaving in an awful way. I talked to Camden about it when I got home from work that day and could tell he felt terrible about it. Because she had mentioned that he had a bad day before, I called her to find out what was going on. As his mother, I want to be informed of what is going on so that I can deal with any behaviors or issues at home. What she told me left me stunned and broken hearted for my little boy. I learned the little boy I so love and adore at home is completely different in a larger group. More than that, he’s the kid all teachers dread and nobody wants in a classroom.

The preschool teacher told me Camden is very immature for his age. Although a very intelligent little boy, she said he is socially and behaviorally immature. I was told he takes toys from other kids, pushes, hits, kicks, and crowds in line. He knocks over towers that other kids build and bullies them. He throws fits when he doesn’t get his way or if he doesn’t get to go first at something. He doesn’t listen to instructions and won’t help clean up toys. When put in time out, he hits, screams, and kicks either the teacher or the wall. I was told he will do anything to have the attention on him and it’s usually in negative ways. He’ll get out of time out just to get a toy to throw it or he’ll hit the wall and laugh at her as she adds more time to the clock. The focus becomes on him and she can’t do her lessons or help the other children.

Needless to say, I broke down after I got off the phone. Sure we see bits and pieces of this behavior at home. He is three after all, and the first born in the house. But we know how to deal with him and rarely see him as out of control as was described to me. It broke my heart to hear the problems he is having and the problems he creates for others. In small groups and at home, he is well behaved, helpful, and fun. I’ve talked to my friends who watch my child occasionally and was told they rarely, if ever, see this side of him. Unfortunately, this was the final piece of a puzzle I’ve been trying to figure out for months. We’ve gotten similar reports from both the gym daycare and our church nursery (although not as extreme) and have wondered how Camden
really behaves and acts when we are not around.

I’m not sure what to think about it all. I feel like the worst parent in the world who is failing their child. I feel like I must not see him clearly or that there is a side to him that only comes out when a parent is not around. After talking to some friends, they gave me some perspective. Most feel it is related to the sensory issues I have mentioned before. Because of that, we’ve set up an appointment for him to be evaluated at our local preschool. A part of me has felt like I have needed to do this for him for a long time, but I have brushed it off because we can deal with his sensory issues at home and in small groups. Seeing how they appear in large groups, however, has made me realize there may be more going on with my son that I want to admit. I’m very hopeful that our evaluation will be able to help my son and help him learn critical social and behavioral skills he needs for school.

It’s a hard thing to accept that my son has some issues that need to be addressed. It’s even harder because I am an educator and know what it is like to have those students in a classroom. It breaks my heart for my little boy, that so many see him as a behavior problem, instead of seeing his sweet heart and spirit. It’s hard to watch him struggle so much as a three year old to deal with these sensory issues. I feel like I don't know how to teach or discipline my own child in a way that works for him and his issues. It’s hard to watch him be so smart, but yet so affected by so many noises, fears, anxieties, and situations out of mine or his control. He’s a beautiful boy with a good heart. He’s got so much to offer. I just wish that side of him could be seen more than the problems.