According to his teachers, the J-man is going through the Terrible Twos/Threes developmental stage. Since he is pretty close to five, it’s a little hard to deal with. He pushes our buttons in many ways, every day. From just being incredibly loud when Dale Jr is trying to sleep to outright physical defiance, he has been a true stinker. They say at school that he is being physically oppositional to things he’s done for almost 2 years now.
And they say it’s normal.
I’d be telling a lie if I didn’t say this was hard. I’m kind of amazed at how hard it is. Our chiropractor has been getting a lot of our business, just because we keep “playing hurt.” Of course we do – that’s parenting, but the physical aspect of forcing the J-man into and out of clothes alone is draining, and that’s been one of the smaller problems.
However, at the same time we are seeing startling upswings in language development. It’s not like he has all of a sudden started TALKING, but he is certainly much more willing to do things like speak some of the words of songs he has heard for years, or tell us that there is a “cookie” on the screen when Rachel is talking about “dessert.” His receptive language skill has definitely increased… now, whether he will actually follow a direction is more of a behavioral issue, but he KNOWS what we’re asking.
I wonder how much Dale Jr’s progress is helping the J-man. You should see how irritated the J-man gets when we’re reciting the alphabet with Dale Jr. (Yes, our one-year-old knows the alphabet. Thank you Saint Rachel!) Dale Jr hasn’t mastered the K sound yet, so when he gets to K and Q, he just skips them. It’s hilarious to us, but NOT to the J-man. It’s causing him to interact, if just to remind Dale Jr that there ARE those 2 letters in the alphabet. (We don’t actually skip them when WE’RE saying them, Dale Jr just pauses and waits for us to catch up to him.)
We’re kind of at the point where it’s time to hire someone to help us structure the house to help the J-man. At our “emergency” parent-teacher conference last week, Ms. Jennifer gave us the name of an organization that does that kind of thing, and we’re going to call them. We are hopeful that if we can get our house a little better organized toward meeting the J-man’s needs that we won’t have as hard of a time as we’ve been having with behavioral issues – that we can clear the sensory stuff as an issue, and then be able to focus on changing behavior that’s just behavior.
I’m pretty sure we’re at that point though, where the only thing that stays the same is that everything is changing. And that’s not so bad because it means we are moving forward, looking for the light at the end of tunnel, and believing with all our hearts that it’s not the train coming the other way to mow us down.