Mr. Sensitive is four years old. He is at the end of his first year of Kindergarten. In a couple weeks he will turn five.
In this one year I’ve aged 10. Mr. Sensitive has grown exponentially in terms of social, language and thinking skills. What does this mean? He can argue like a lawyer, and he’s usually right. (I hate that.)
Nowhere else in child development do you have the intellectual ability of a teenager coupled with the emotional maturity of a two year-old. (I know some of you will say that a teenager also has the emotional maturity of a two year-old. That’s a whole other post 😉
Interruption while I was writing this:
I just had to remove the natural, home-made spray cleaning solution from Mr. Sensitive’s hands because he was spraying the cats and their food. Result: mini-tantrum (No! NO! NO!!),and whining “I just want to clean something” Yes dear, but not the cats.
Back to the post:
Mr. Sensitive is also, as Piaget says, a scientist. He explores his world by building things, and testing his world. (Both physical and emotional… much to my chagrin).
Right now he’s sitting on the kitchen floor, eating strawberries out of his Tonka jeep convertible. The Jeep drives across the floor, carrying its load of strawberries. Mr. Sensitive pushes the Jeep and eats the berries. All this at 6:31 am, Thursday morning.
Since waking up at 5:00 am-ish Mr. Sensitive has: peed on the floor outside the bathroom (because he’s afraid of the dark and did not turn on the light inside the bathroom); played nicely with his baby brother (with only a couple reminders to not pull the baby’s legs so hard); strewn assorted cars and monster trucks across the sofa (I get to pick them up later); watched one episode of Backyardigans; got frustrated because he can’t say ‘rhubarb’ like he heard on Backyardigans (too many ‘r’s for a four year-old); washed strawberries in the sink; made a human steamroller; made a weapon out of a bungee cord and tennis ball; read a storybook; and refused to eat breakfast.
Which leads to our biggest battles with Mr. Sensitive – food. Or rather, lack of it. We struggle with Mr. Sensitive’s emotional ups and downs, and we see a link between lack of food and increased emotional instability. Which means: he doesn’t eat, and gets whinny and miserable. He gets too upset to eat, but is actually really hungry.
Our behaviour therapist emphasised Mr. Sensitive eat a serving of protein at each meal to offset mood swings triggered by blood sugar spikes.
Breakfast this morning? Strawberries don’t count. Even though they drove around in a Tonka Jeep.
Mr. Sensitive’s yogurt sits unopened. Even though he picked it out himself, and yes, it is strawberry yogurt.
We’ve managed to get Mr. Sensitive to eat eggs on weekends by using a “First-Then” strategy (aka Grandma’s rule). First he eats his scrambled eggs. Then he gets pancakes and jam. Mr. Sensitive will negotiate using First-Then: if I eat my dinner can I have ice cream for dessert?
Sure. Which means we buy a lot of ice cream – I’ve gained five pounds using this strategy.