Sunday, August 20, 2006

Spirited? Highly Sensitive?

Master J is...a handful. Seriously. He has boundless energy. He is intense and perceptive and persistent...especially persistent. He easily fits the categories of a Spirited Child (see Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's Book) and a Highly Sensitive Child (see Elaine Aron's Book). At least I think so. They have all sorts of quiz type things in the books where you rate characteristics on a scale of one to ten. But what if I'm wrong? What if I'm just a lousy parent who can't handle a normal one and a half year old?

I wonder all the time what people must think when they see us out and about. For the most part, Master J is wonderful and well behaved. Please don't get me wrong, I think he is an ice cream sundae with lots of whipped cream and two cherries on top fantastic! It's just that he has so much ENERGY. Plus there are those times when he just digs in...stubborn to the core. I don't have too many problems taking him out (mostly because his constant chatter is adorable and doesn't bother me) except in places where calm and quiet are expected i.e. Church, the Library etc. I see other small children. They are not models of perfection, but they do sit for more than 2 seconds at a time. They whisper. They don't think it is hysterically funny to race down an aisle flinging all the books off the shelves as they go. Or do they? Are other parents just more able to cope? Granted I'm generally wearing (yes a sling or wrap) a two month old baby and am not quite as agile and quick as I could be, but do other children scream bloody murder when you gently try and redirect them?? Probably they do. Probably I just can't cope.

Today I was really embarrassed. A very lovely well meaning woman took my son out of Church today because he was being...himself...and I was getting frustrated. (the Husband is a Sacristan and does not join us until right before Mass begins so I am alone with both children for about 20-30 minutes in the pews) She was SO nice about it, and it WAS helpful but...what does that say about me?? Why do women with five, six, ten etc. children seem to have it all under control? Does that mean I could never have a big family or did they struggle in the beginning as well?

Lots of questions today. Not a lot of answers. :-( Some people just say, well, my kids know from the beginning that they sit in Church or get taken out for a spanking . I cannot believe that is the only way. We're committed to gentle discipline and I do believe it works. Honestly, I don't think Master J would change even if we (blech) decided to start hitting him. It's not a punishment issue. It's not a discipline issue. I truly don't believe he CAN sit still. Am I so wrong??


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