‘We’re at a loss.’
Those four words, uttered this week at a conference, started a chain of events that has yet to be complete. Those words were spoken by an administrator at Ethan’s preschool.
Anyone who follows this blog knows that Ethan is a rambunctious, mischievous kid. He’s bright, and he’s very, very energetic.
He’s also a little impulsive.
And that impulsivity has been his downfall.
He isn’t hitting other kids – they seek him out to play with him and even yell, ‘Ethan!’ when he enters the room, as if he were Norm from Cheers.
He isn’t destroying property.
What he has done is given up his nap when nobody else in his room has. Sometimes he’s disruptive during nap, because he has 2 hours to entertain himself. His teacher has been wonderful, trying everything in the world to occupy his mind enough to get him through 2 hours of very little activity, but he’s not having it.
And this week after refusing to go back into the school after recess, he ran from his teachers on the playground. He ran to his classroom and caught up with the other kids, but we were called to pick him up because it’s a safety issue.
He’s also had his fair share of ‘write-ups’ in the past 4 weeks.
The next day we had a conference. That first sentence up there was the first sentence out of the administrator’s mouth.
After discussing it for some time, we determined that we would pull Ethan out and I would give him what he needs at home (we’ll get to that later). But this his teacher, who is really very attached to Ethan, was tearing up. And then I cried too, and then everything went to shit and we decided to let Ethan stay and just pay week-to-week for awhile to see how things go.
And then yesterday? Two write-ups in ONE DAY. The first time he and a friend hid in a make-believe house on the playground because they didn’t want to stop playing when it was time to go in. The second time he was running around at naptime to all the kids’ cots, yelling, ‘FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!’ They had just had a fire drill, and he wanted to continue the fun. He said his classmates were laughing, and he likes to make them laugh so he kept doing it even after the teacher told him to stop. I guess this escalated and he ended up climbing on furniture.
On the way home last night, I asked Ethan (for the millionth time, it seemed) why he was making those wrong choices – why he was continuing bad behavior even after his teachers told him to stop. His response?
‘Can you help me, Mom? I just don’t know why.’
With that, my heart broke for him.
Greg and I are fully convinced that for whatever reason, he’s not getting what he needs at the preschool. He craves a variety of experiences and apparently is operating at a 6-year-old level on some things. I can see why he would be frustrated in a room with 3-year-olds. He’s honestly a good friend, and a loving kid – he’s just a little rambunctious because maybe he hasn’t matured beyond that impulsivity. He responds to me, he behaves for me, so I don’t know.
By the way, our response to that administrator was something like, ‘If you, with your education, experience, and training, are at a loss, then we don’t know why you are consulting us. We certainly don’t know how to help you.’
His teacher is a wonderful, wonderful woman.
But I just don’t know if we can do this anymore. I don’t know that I can continue to dread picking him up, knowing I’ll probably see another write-up in his folder.
I just don’t know.