Shew... now that the additions to my list post is out of the way. :)
I can get on with my blogging self.
However, this one is going to be about my list, too.
It's actually about one of the items on my list and how I am not really sure I will ever determine that I've accomplished it. I guess I'll know when Jake starts Kindergarten or when he goes to middle school (or Junior High) or high school. I don't know when I'll "know."
The item I'm referring to is the item that says, "Teach Jake to walk into a room and feel confident with himself (no nail biting)."
Since I have no way of knowing if Jake feels confident in himself at this stage of the game, I have to go on the cues he's giving me.
So, Saturday would be one of the days that I'm using as an example. Our friends, Dawn and Brandon, invited us to come to their sons' (Jackson and Carson) birthday party. It was a joint party (both boys have December birthdays) and the kids really love Jackson and Carson. I was really excited to get to join in. Unfortunately, not long after getting the invitation, I realized that Bailey had ballet rehearsal for the Nutcracker at the same time (speaking of - if you want to see her in the ballet, come watch on Saturday, December 18 at 7 at Lyric Theater in Lexington). Anyway, Bailey wouldn't be able to go to the party. For half a second, I thought that we'd have to miss the party. But, I was quickly reminded (by myself) that I have taken Bailey to numerous, numerous parties for her friends at preschool and Kindergarten. Jake, on the other hand, has only gone to birthday parties when we've all gone. I quickly shot Brad an e-mail and told him that he was going to have to take Bailey to ballet and I would take Jake to the party. It wasn't fair for him to miss out.
Now that you have entirely too much detail on this...
Saturday was the party. We arrived a few minutes early, caught up with Dawn and checked out the party place. Jake was pretty pumped about seeing his friends, Jackson, Carson, and Joseph, and really excited about the cake and games. Typically, Jake has a hard time in these types of situations. He becomes clingy and shy and really gets nervous when he doesn't know a lot of people. He didn't seem that nervous. He even sat at the table with the kids without a concern or care in the world, ate 4 pieces of pizza (I KNOW!) and made a new friend in Vincent. They had a cookie fight (not over cookies, but ramming their cookies into each other). :) I'm sure that it really helped that he's played with Jackson, Carson, and Joseph so often and they were both there sitting with him. Add to that the fact that he's actually doing really well with preschool and understanding that he really DOES have to follow rules and maybe we can see where this is coming from.
No nervousness, no nail biting. I really didn't think that much about it. At all. It really hadn't crossed my mind. Until one of Dawn's friends came up and I stuck my hand out to introduce myself. Jake quickly stepped up to her and stuck his hand out and said, "I'm Brad Jacob Ooten." OK. This should not be a big deal, right? Had it been Bailey, I wouldn't have thought a second time about it. Well. Jake typically mumbles his name, only when asked, and then continues to bury his face in my thigh and stands behind me. The fact that he was so forthcoming with this new friend floored me. It surprised me even more when he decided that he'd make friends with Brandon's dad (Jackson's grandfather) and told him all about the prizes he selected at the ticket counter. He is usually insecure. He usually mumbles. He usually would NEVER initiate a conversation with someone he doesn't know.
I have often worried that his insecurities come from his difficulty in speaking clearly. He's getting so much better that it amazes us sometimes. Sure, he still struggles with some sounds, but for the most part, you can understand most of what he's saying. I have to think that his improvements in speech are helping his confidence. That coupled with preschool and our increasingly active schedules with other adults and children just have to be making the difference.
One step closer to me not worrying about his insecurities...
One step closer to feeling like I'm not leaving a helpless baby at preschool... terrified that he can't or won't tell them when he needs something.
One step closer to marking this off my list.
OK. I'll probably never stop worrying about him.
I'll probably never feel like I'm leaving a big kid at school... he IS my baby.
So, maybe this won't ever come off the list. lol.
Oh well... I'm working on it. :) That has to count for something.
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