Monday, July 25, 2011

Social Interactions

Yesterday was a hard day here. Weekends our neighbor watches her grandchildren can be overwhelming. My children want to play with hers and for the most part vice versa. well in theory. Her grandchildren ask to play and also ask to play with the little boy next door. And then can loose interest in O. I try and remember they are all younger than mine (well older than C) at ages 3, 4 and 5. They love to play with I and often seem to want to play with O but, and  this is where it's hard, they know O (and I) have more restrictive rules than them. O and I need to stay in the yard to play and are not allowed to go to the neighbor's house (not that their not nice people, but they seem overwhelmed by their own 2 and adding O and his needs just doesn't seem like a good idea, especially if adding an additional 2 children.). They ask O to come and play and then take off for P's (the little guy next door) house. Leaving O to sit there and wait and wait and wait and then his patience wears off and he starts yelling for them and then, the over the fence/balcony yelling matches begin. And ultimately it ends in O getting frustrated and meltingdown because they're not coming back to play with him.

And I realize O has social and maturity issues. He's at least 2 years behind his peers but as big an average 6.5 year old. So playing with kids younger than him is hard- he's on their level maturity wise but towers over them in size. And if you get a 5 year old who's older than 5 then there's real issues. Because the younger more mature kid knows how to twist it so O is left standing and he seems to enjoy this. And I'm left standing there trying to figure out how to handle it, how to get O from meltingdown and feeling guilty because I'm wishing my son was more normal/mature. Wishing there were other little boys, more O's age. in the neighborhood.

So after an afternoon of all 5 kids playing okay together on Saturday, I knew Sunday would probably be a hard one. I'd said "no" to about a hundred requests to go play already and finally broke down and agreed. 5 minutes into the play the youngers left O to go next door and play. I watched as my little guy sat and waited and waited, I could see his emotions rising and made the decision to instead bring him and C up to our park, to play and swim. But by the time we had baby J, and C ready to go the kids were back outside- but playing in the neighbor's yard- over the fence with O. It took a lot of coaxing to get O to want to go but we did and we all enjoyed ourselves at the park.

Then we deal with the return home- when they're all still out in the yard and I was home from her swim trip with friends, and they both want to go out and play. But it's dinner time and I'm really no longer wanting to deal with the drama and insist they stay in. For the best for us all, as they all are over tired and it's painfully obvious.

I have to close one of our living room windows because the oldest boy is now out on the next door's porch yelling at my window- to get our attention. (Something my kids aren't allowed to do is yell out the windows or even hang out in them, as we are on the 2nd story and they've been known to push to the screens out. I really don't need to have anyone falling out of them and breaking something.) I close the window and then the blind and finally they get the point. I'm sorry I'm done dealing today.

I've really just started to wonder why O is so much younger than kids his age and a few years younger. Is it to do with his sensory issues? Social issues? Will it always be this way? Will he someday have a growth spurt of maturity? How can I help him? And why do some kids seem to just know how to push buttons of others? I hate saying it this way but sometimes there's just that kid that seems to know how to be mean, seems to enjoy seeing others upset, and I just don't like them. Harsh, I know, to say I don't like a 5 year but it's not the first and probably not the last.

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