The Tobin Times #74

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:04 pm

Dear Tobin,

It’s been a mood-swingy month.  Your dad and I were talking about it last night, and I speculated that you are working on your adjustment to kindergarten.  This is the most challenging schedule you’ve ever had—up much earlier than you’d prefer, in school all day, activities most afternoons and/or evenings.  Maybe it’s a strain to keep it together during all those hours, and when you’re home in your safe haven, you really let your fury loose.

Your dad and I are a little confused by all this, because your personality has been so easy-going your whole life.  This is the first time we’ve seen you in such a challenging stage.  That’s not to say you’re not still fun and sweet, because you absolutely are.  But your usual demeanor has been punctuated by these screaming fits of rage that are hard for us to manage.

I chaperoned a trip with your class to the Children’s Museum a couple of weeks ago, and I could tell that you definitely know how to use good behavior in a school-type setting.  You did a great job, and you certainly weren’t one of the students who needed extra attention to be a good participant.  At home, your dad and I ask you to do what you’re supposed to do (brush your teeth) or stop doing what you’re not supposed to do (tipping back your chair at the dinner table), and it’s like we’re talking in Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice for all the response you give.  After a couple of reasonable requests, we start getting angry.  Then you lose it and freak out.

Mornings around here are tough these days.  You are the king of the morning grumps.  It wouldn’t hurt to get you to bed earlier, but I haven’t noticed a lot of difference between the mornings after high-sleep and lower-sleep nights.

In positive news:  you’ve done great with your latest sessions of swimming lessons.  We stayed in a hotel for a family wedding last weekend, and you rocked out in the pool.  I put water wings on you, but you stripped those off shortly after getting in, and you swam around and back-floated like a champ.  You’re also really enjoying Ninja Zone, a class that seems like mostly gymnastics.  It’s been fun for you to run and jump and flip around bars.  Callum and I are going to exhaust the retail options in the gym’s neighborhood, because he goes too crazy with desire to go in with you if we hang around in the waiting room.  I’ve been able to you watch you a fair amount, though, and you look like you’re having a great time.

As always, we’ve been busy-busy-busy, and I don’t see that changing before the holiday madness descends.  It would be nice to have a weekend at home with no commitments, but I have no idea when that will happen.  You’re not a kid who seems to need a lot of downtime, but I know I do, and I can be a better mom to you when I’m not stressed and overwhelmed.

The weather is right at the changing point now.  Earlier this month, you and Callum ran in the sprinkler and ate popsicles outside.  Now we’re getting into jacket weather, and we’ve had some cold and rainy days.  We had some fun on a rainy weekend recently, playing a game where we put pictures of animals into headbands and had to ask questions to figure out what they were, and we played several rounds of Exquisite Corpse.  That started as a literary game, but we do a version where we each draw the head of a monster, then fold the paper and pass it.  The next person draws the middle, then folds it and passes it, and another person draws the bottom.  We’ve come up with some pretty funny combinations, and you and Miles would play round after round if I didn’t finally make you stop.

You’re a pretty fun guy 90% of the time, my sweet Tobin.  If you have any ideas on how we can help you keep things under control during that remaining 10%, let me know.  I can’t imagine it’s fun for you to be so angry, and I want to help you get yourself sorted out.

We’re getting flu shots in an hour.  Give me strength.




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