Shea got into trouble today at school. Something about hitting or bugging the other kids? It wasn't quite clear and I, of course, wasn't there at the time but I can imagine.
His teacher came out to have one of those heart to heart talks with Shea and I just as I picked him up. Shea must've just been pulled for a time out or something because he was in full crying, melt down mode. Not a common thing which makes me think he was pretty tired or maybe could be getting a little sick.
"I think Shea was playing at being a fierce tiger or dinosaur or something and was growling and pretending to claw at the other kids. Some of them did not want to play that way and told him so but Shea would not stop."
I said, "Oh. So you were bugging the other kids, Shea? Did someone pop you in the nose to make you stop?"
Teacher was horrified, "No, no, no! Nothing like that." I never really did find out the full story of what really happened because meanwhile Shea is still sobbing and really beginning to work us over. In this situation, my strategy is to move on to something else, change the scene, transition to something else. But, he was still worked up and hit me as I was getting his stuff to go.
The teacher kept apologizing. I am not sure why. I guess she was sorry that I had to pick up a crying kid. Hey, everyone has their moments; Shea included.
But, this is an example of something that has brewing for a while and I can't quite put my finger on it. Part of it has to do with the way Shea and Molly play together which is very physical. They wrestle and tickle and hug and jump on each other. This, of course, does not work with the other kids. Other than yelling myself hoarse anytime Molly and Shea play rough, I don't know how to change the dynamic. I mean, they love each other to distraction and frankly they should be able to play with each other the way they like to. Within reason, right?
But, then again, how does a kid like Shea learn appropriate social dynamics when Molly is throwing conflicting cues into the mix all the time? Don't get me wrong, this is not Molly's fault but I do wish there was a way to help her see that she is teaching him how to interact with the world. And, those lessons may be making it harder for him to get along.
Another part of this is his Sensory Integration issue which makes him very excitable and frustrated in crowds. He gets really worked up and, of course, can't communicate at the pace or volume as anyone around him. Sometimes he just stops trying and hits the wall. I have seen him strike out from pure frustration; everything is moving too fast for him and he doesn't know how to cope.
Sometimes Shea's progress seems dazzling and I am filled with hope and enthusiasm for the future. And, then sometimes just a little thing like "don't hit" derails all the optimism and shoots me down a road of worry, concern and pessimistic thoughts.
There really isn't anything else to do but soldier on. Some days are better than others.