Wednesday, February 10, 2010
You Mean There's a Name for This?
It seemed to come in cycles. I knew that much was true. There are times-weeks really-when Harry is a pleasant kid, so easy going and mild mannered. Those are the times when Harry, I think, is surely the gold standard in sons.

Ever since he turned two (maybe three), the flip side to being the gold standard in sons is when Harry just can't seem to get a grip. He cries when he runs out of blue Legos for a grand project. He stomps his feet when he runs out of train track or Matchbox race track. He whines when he can't get his shirt on (or off). He'll go days subsisting on nothing but baby carrots, fruit snacks, the odd bit of protein, and lots of mini waffles but freaks out at the thought of the bowl of lettuce being placed in front of him on taco night.

These are days when I look at him and mentally throw my hands up, not sure how to handle him. Last week I even went so far as to suggest to John that we take him to a doctor. Perhaps something was wrong? Maybe I was doing something wrong? Were we spending enough time with him? John assured me he was fine, that boys will be boys. Then last night, I learned something and suddenly there's a lot to parenting this boy of ours that makes sense now.

I picked up Harry first from the sitter last night. Halfway over to pick up Sophie from a playdate, Harry announced "I left my quarter! We have to go back!" I explanined that he'd have to wait to get his quarter back, that I wasn't going to walk back, have the sitter walk down three flights of stairs for twenty five cents. Cue the crying.

Harry cried the rest of the way to Sophie's friend's house. He whined. I explained responsibility and how if there is something you really like, you keep it safe, in your backpack. More crying.

By the time we arrived to pick up Sophie, Harry was in full out tantrum mode. So he sat outside on the stoop while Sophie got her backpack and coat on. The mom of Sophie's friend, God love her, says "I have change! Here, let me give you a quarter." When I explained that I'd prefer not to, that Harry has a habit of losing small items then demands a replacement. I went on to explain that he's been having a rough couple of weeks.

Then she said these words: "Have you ever heard the theory of equilibrium and disequilibrium?" She went on to explain that kids have periods of disequilibrium,
which is when they are learning, and often failing, at the acquisition of new skills. This results in frustration. Disequilibrium is followed by a period equilibrium, which is when the the child has successfully mastered skills and new abilities and everything is hunky-dory.

IApparently we are in period of disequilibrium! It's not him. (Or me! Or us!) Totally normal! Equilibrium is coming soon!
Hooray!


3 Comments:

Anonymous mom said...

My Harry-Boy, just a little boy, still a baby when you compare him to when he becomes 35 or 40.
Love all around

Blogger CatMar said...

Wow! You learn something every day! I never heard of that. Harry is a regular little guy.

Blogger Andie said...

so, that's what my son has.....

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