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I’m going to post out of order here. It’s been a topsy-turvy weekend that launched on Friday with a fair bit of angst and wrapped up just a few hours ago with a palpable sense of relief.

I’ll discuss the angst part in greater depth later. For now, I’ll just report that Simon’s teacher came out to talk to me Tuesday because she was concerned about Simon’s difficulty making transitions in class and his terror of loud noises on the playground. He had two pretty rough days in a row, and the consensus among her, the aid in the room, and the school director is that Simon’s behavior is outside the normal range and needs to be looked at by a professional.

Friday night was not so happy in our house. Part of me is/was convinced that Simon was exhibiting nothing more than typical toddler and typical introvert tendencies, exacerbated by my absence for most of the week. And the other part of me is/was convinced that I should listen to Simon’s teachers and look into getting him help for some as-yet undiagnosed mental thing.

Tonight I find myself less panicked all round. We went to a big family festival at the Whitworths’ church today, and Simon had a ball. Picture a big raucous carnival in a giant noisy parking lot filled with lots of people and stimulation. It’s the type of scene I struggle with myself and that Simon usually can’t handle at all.

Well, he had a ball. The first booth he spied was a basketball shooting station. It was filled with older children, so I tried to steer Simon to a toddler bag toss right next to it. That’s just as good, right? Wrong. Oblivious to the older children, Simon wanted to shoot some hoops. So Matt held him up to dunk a few times, and then we worked on dribbling. Simon delighted us and himself even more by sustaining a short dribble (right-handed, oddly enough) several times in a row.

Next up, we decided to line up for the pony rides. Now here my prediction was that Simon would not be able to stand in the line and might very well freak out when placed on an actual pony. Wrong and wrong again. He waited in a crowded twenty-minute line just fine, and when he got up close and personal with the pony he smiled with anticipation. As the pony walked in circles Simon got a feel for the saddle, held on tightly, laughed and bounced, and had a grand old time. After one or two circuits, I could see my services were not needed, so I dropped my hand from his back and just walked behind him.

Next up, we petted goats and some huge Argentine rodent I’d never heard of before, sat amid the crowd and ate ice-cream, waved to a passing fire truck, and acquired a yellow balloon. Several planes flew overhead—these a particular source of concern lately—and Simon was either unfazed or looked up and waved at them.

It was, in short, a day made in toddler heaven. And it was also a day that—difficulty with transitions and fear of loud noises such as trucks, motorcycles, and planes aside—makes me think that while Simon may have a small “p” problem that would benefit from a bit of professional advice, that at a fundamental level everything must be OK.

One Response to “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Child Psychologist”

  1. blg says:

    I am no child psychologist – though I play one on TV.
    Seems to me if Simon is frightened of planes at school, but not with you and Matt — then the problem ain’t the planes.

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