I've been meaning to do a little update for a long while now, and I don't want to miss recording these certain little quirks that won't stick around for long as this boy grows, learns and changes.
But I will start at the most recent. Yesterday we had an appointment with a Paediatrician to discuss certain areas of Theo's development and behaviour. Since starting at nursery there have been a few concerns raised, and especially around the way he interacts with other children. I've shared a few times about my concerns with some of his lashing out problems and we didn't really know the answers as to why. We still don't really. It's a tricky one really. As he gets older and I guess more used to being around other children without me there he does seem to be getting better, but sometimes the not so good behaviour does creep in. Theo is incredibly social, outgoing and interested in other people and children. When he meets a new child he will instantly ask "What's your name?" and tell them his and ask them questions. He wants to share his game and views with people and likes to interact, and its really lovely to watch. He can also be loud, spontaneous and sometimes slightly unpredictable, and will sometimes without real reason lash out. This may be just nudging a child who may be standing too close, or screaming in their face or direction down to full on biting. This is not so great to watch, as you can imagine.
We are constantly trying to encourage Theo to use his words, as I feel this is a major factor and may lead to his frustration. Don't get me wrong, his language and vocabulary is really good, but he will still revert to using actions first when he feels stressed, upset or cross. And sometimes it's hard to predict when he will start to feel like this. He has always been a very excitable child, and takes so much joy in tasks and new things, but this also tends to lead him to becoming overwhelmed and perhaps over stimulated. He may be feeling stressed in certain situations, and I know both Rob and I both suffer a little from feeling uncomfortable and stressed in places with lots of people or stimulus.
So what I'm trying to say is that I know deep down, or not even deep down because he shows us daily, that he is a kind, friendly and very lovely child but sometimes he finds it very hard to deal with stress or anxiety. After observing Theo during our appointment the Paediatrician assured us that she saw some really great qualities in him, and that there were no real underlying problems. Hopefully with age and experience he will be able to control his actions a little more, and be able to vocalise the way he's feeling and act on it before he lashes out. And we just need to continue helping him on his way to understanding those feelings and dealing with them, and as she put it so well, 'help him control his feelings without squashing his spirit'.
So that is where we are with that. Every day is a learning curve for us, and we may have better weeks than others, and when we're in a bad week it feels as though we've reverted or that this is the way his behaviour will always be, but it does eventually pass and looking back in hindsight you can start to pinpoint certain triggers for the behaviour.
But on to a few things that I don't want to forget!
We have hit the role-playing stage, and I love it! We play doctors most day and take it in turns to be the doctor and the patient. Theo has a little voice for when he's playing a character and I love it. He will often play doctor to his toys and make them feel better with a plaster, hot water bottle and a story. We also like to play shops and fixers (builders)
The train set seems to come out less and less these days, but when it does he likes to build tracks himself and acts out little stories he remembers, and most will involve a chase with the naughty Diesel 10 and a crash of some sort.
This boy is obsessed with water. I often find him playing with taps, doing the washing up or spraying himself and everything with the hose. He loves water parks with sprinklers and jets of water and will run squealing with delight through them. He also loves ice and will pick all the pieces from his or your drinks making sure he distributes a piece to each of us first.
We have noticed that sharing is getting a little better, and waiting for his turn on things happens more frequently. He likes to take it upon himself to share out little items such a stones or food, but still isn't really comfortable sharing toys.
We have also seen recent obsessions with superheros and rescuing, and he likes to pretend he can fly. Dinosaurs were up there too and he likes to look at pictures even though he finds them quite scary!
He has learnt to write his name and likes to point out the letter T (for Theo!) everywhere we go. He will find different objects to form the letter T and will proudly show it off to anyone who will listen.
We have hit the getting naked stage, and I will often find him with his clothes strewn across the floor lounging around on the sofa. We have a few battles getting dressed, and he's suddenly decided that he doesn't like short sleeves. Most tops are called pyjamas, as they still remain his favourite clothes to wear (and remove) but he does like to help get himself dressed too. He can put on and remove his shoes himself, but will only do so after oh about the 50,000th time you've asked.
He is obsessed with babies. Baby animals, baby humans and anything small. He constantly claims "aw its so cute" "I love it, I love baby..." and likes to give hugs to anything that he can get his arms around. The other day he made friends with an ant that had crawled on his arm, and talked about him all the way home.
Speaking of friends he likes to introduce all the people in the room to each other, as though we've never met before. He will introduce Rob's own Grandma by saying "Excuse me Daddy, this is my friend Granny" and hold his little palms up in a dramatic gesture just in case you weren't sure who he was referring to. He will tell people in the street that I am his Mummy, and will introduce his friends to other children.
He will start conversations with people in the street, if we walk by someone working in their garden it'll be "um excuse me, what are you doing", or he likes to share information or just have a little chat. If anyone comes to do any work at our house he will follow them around asking what they are doing, and (try to!) have a little root around in their tool bag. He isn't really afraid to talk to new people, but if someone doesn't respond he will happily carry on saying "oh they can't hear me" until he finds his next willing listener.
He likes to show people what he's created and takes great pride in things he built or made or found. When reading books he likes to stop and point out all the different things he notices and ask lots of questions about the scenes. He's also getting a lot more interested in playing on his own, and especially if we are somewhere with new toys he's content to just sit, play and discover.
If he wants to go off and get something, he likes to hold up his hands "wait wait, stay right there, I'll be right back"! Rob took him out the other week, and whilst waiting in a queue Theo wandered off and when called back he informed Rob to "don't worry Daddy, I'm just going over here for a little bit, you just stay there"
And finally everything at the moment is preceded with "a little bit". Yesterday morning he wanted to go "a little bit downstairs" or he just wants a "little bit of a treat" and if you refuse his request he will say "oh but just a little bit, pweeease"
He still loves a cuddle, and apparently "cuddles make you happy Mummy". Yes, yes they do!