As I have said before, Max is doing so super well developmentally. He has made major progress in the last year or so. After refusing to pick up a pencil and draw anything, lately he has been writing things and drawing pictures. Today he came to me with a picture of a donkey he had drawn (it was really good!!) and asked for crayons to colour it in. Max just ASKED to colour something in!!!!! Awesome awesome awesome.
PS I know the donkey looks like a scary dinosaur with those teeth, but he was drawing Donkey from Shrek. This look:
However, one of the last skills Max is mastering as he moves along on his development path is the social skills. He is sorely lacking in that. He has poor impulse control and poor social skills. His social filters are quite immature. He is not the type of child that most ’typical’ children will readily want to befriend, and I honestly can’t blame them. As I have said before, which five year old would want to be best friends with someone who doesn’t know where the line is, who ruins your game or bashes your tower over. I love him dearly, but I am not blind to his social inadequacies.
We were walking out from school today and Max says to me “hey mom, you see that boy over there?”. Yes I say. He says “that cute fat one, the one like a ball”. Yes, shhhh, I see him. Is he your friend (please let it be so!)? “Yes, I really like him.” Oh that’s nice! (*thinking - how can I befriend that child’s mother and arrange play dates so that my child eventually has a BFF*) "I like to annoy him.” Oh, um, how do you annoy him? “I call him fatty-pants and then I run away”. Max! You mustn’t do that! He smiles reassuring at me, “It’s ok, I run like the wind, he never catches me”. No, I mean you mustn’t call him fatty-pants, that might hurt his feelings. “But it’s so fun when he chases me”. Ok, but you need to ask him to chase you rather than calling him fatty–pants, because that will hurt his feelings. “Ok” he says. Oh good lord, no wonder he doesn’t have many (any!) friends. Sigh.
*Side note: Last week a five year old made me cry. I got to class with Max in the morning and a (popular) boy in his class says to me, in front of Max “I told my Dad about Max this morning”. Oh?, I said. “Yes, I told my Dad that Max is a very rude boy because he ruins our games”. I wanted to die. I mumbled to Max “Max, you mustn’t do that, your friends won’t like it”. And then I went into the bathroom at the school and cried my eyes out. I had (once again) lulled myself into thinking that Max was doing ok in this department and had made friends. But once again, like all the other schooling years, I was reminded quite sharply that things are not that easy when it comes to social interaction. I know it will be fine, that he will make friends and have better social skills, I can see the improvements all the time. It just punches me in the gut when I am reminded of the current reality. I hurt for him. I worry that he will be affected by the rejection, the exclusion. Although, having said that – he doesn’t seem too phased by it. Perhaps he should be more phased by it so that he can try harder! Anyway, it is fine, it will be fine and everything will be ok. It’s all good. And getting better every single day. Now we have just got to work on not calling people fatty-pants.