Well. I don't know what to say. Are you okay? I hope everybody is okay.
*deep, weary sigh*
Moving back around to my little myopic world, Ike attended a classmate's birthday party at a local gymnastics place with Jason. About an hour in he sent me the following:
Goddamn birthday parties. What the hell is your problem with my kids?
This was not a completely out-of-the-blue suggestion, by the way, but a nagging worry we've both had and been rationalizing away for a bit too long. Ike is not Noah, he is not Ezra, and developmentally he's always fallen somewhere in between his brothers' respective paces.
But lately we're seeing more and more overlap with some of Noah's more...quirky little developmental hiccups. His vocabulary is solid but his pronunciation is poor and his grammar lags far behind his peers. He swaps words in ways that aren't wrong, but aren't necessarily correct either (i.e. "up" instead of "top"), and has trouble using more specific descriptive words so he defaults to the more general one ("arms" when he really means "fingers"). And these are all words/concepts he knows! He just seems to be physically struggling to pull the words up and out, and once he gets a sentence out he tends to repeat it several times, like hey, that was a lot of work so I'm just gonna keep saying it so I don't have to start all over with something new.
He covers his ears at loud noises and yes, the happy birthday song. He doesn't like the songs or group poems/chants/prayers at his school and refuses to join in. He wanted to leave the party the instant he realized there were structured activities and melted down because the cake didn't come in the order he wanted. His fine motor skills are all over the place: he can zipper a coat and expertly use scissors, but he can't hold a crayon correctly. At home and on playgrounds, his typical little-boy wind-up gets frantic and compulsive as he hurls his body around on the floor and furniture, seeking big sensory input, usually until he hurts himself. He worries, he asks a million questions about what's happening next, and when, and why, and whyyyyyy, and transistions are eeeeekkkkkk, and it's time for me to admit that I can no longer be an impartial judge on what's "normal" here and what's worth worrying about.
(Obviously costumes = not an issue with this one.)
He's not as bad as Noah, I think. Nowhere as bad as Noah.
But not only is that a useless comparison to make, I have no doubt that my memories of Noah's preschool years are not entirely big-picture accurate at this point. I remember the Dramatic Low Points better than little day to day moments when everything was Just Fine and Pretty Okay.
And so in Ike's case, I think I've had the tendency to use all the things that are Just Fine and Pretty Okay as evidence that he just needs some time, some maturity. Cognitively, he's great. He loves going to school, despite having some issues with a few aspects of the day. He's starting to read and is obsessed with animals and bugs. He's affectionate and loving and makes perfect eye contact. He absorbs everything he learns like a sponge, even if he can't always squeeze it back out in a way anyone other than I can understand. Maybe it's just a little baby-lisp he'll outgrow. Preview
But now we're less than a year away from a pretty dang intense kindergarten program and it's becoming more and more obvious that at this rate, he will not be ready. And while red-shirting is an option, it's far from our ONLY option. We know this. We've been through this. We can do this.
So can he.