Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Did I Mention That Max Turned 3?

At 3 years old, he's quite large for his age. Not ridiculously, but as large as the smaller 5 year olds. I noticed this in his art class today. He is just as big as 3/4 of the 5 year olds. I feel like I need to make his age known. That way the other moms are not expecting him to act like their 5 year olds. Yes, he "JUST" turned 3. If he hits your 5 year old or he screeches, just for fun, he "JUST" turned 3.

I am tired of feeling self conscious about his behavior. I think I remember my sister-in-law mentioning the same kind of situations with her son. I remember her telling me how she made remarks to people that he was not a retarded 5 year old...just a big 3 year old. I guess those genes are running in our family.

And it doesn't take very much to trigger Max into some really "unwanted" behavior. If another kid starts running and shrieking, you better believe that Max will, not only do it too, but he will outdo the kid who started it. Yes, he often starts it.

It's okay. I'm learning how to handle it. Day. By. Day. I am not disciplinarian by nature...and when I am, I find it hard to live with that part of myself. So I have read plenty of books about how to parent a "challenging, willful" child without having to evoke the disciplinarian within me. After all, I still need to feel good about who I am while helping him become the best that he can be (wow...didn't that sound cliche and trite?)...yet it's true.

The behavior that I feel pressure to "squash," is almost always expressions of joy or exuberant excitement. Sometimes it's also expressions of frustration, but in either case, I just don't want to squash it because of social pressure and expectations. The only time I feel like I should really do this, is when Max hurts or intimidates another child.

When my little guy squeals out of happiness in a restaurant...and everyone is looking at me sideways to "shut him up"...I can't help but feel uncomfortable and inclined to quiet him down. But while I make attempts, I feel like a traitor.

I think we come into this world as pure as we can be. And over time, we learn to suppress our authentic selves. I don't really mind that it happens well into our adult years. It just kills me to be teaching these things to a 3 year old. All in the name of "social adjustment."

When it comes to raising my son, I hope for the courage to take the road less traveled. I hope for the courage to forge a path for others to follow. I find no bravery or integrity in taking the the well worn road.

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