B was an active enough little boy. Before preschool I noticed he needed a bit more attention than other children his age. I would notice this when we would meet with the playgroup, go to the playground, go to storytime, or be in a crowd. He didn’t demand attention he just needed it, extra guidance, extra correction, extra redirection. Of course as time has gone on he has demanded more attention, but that is for another time. At playgroup someone finally said, “You should read that book for ‘challenging’ children.” Reading the book wouldn’t really make him any less challenging. Perhaps help me manage him or learn that there are other kids like him. But he was my kid and he really wasn’t like any others… of course.
I wasn’t in that playgroup very long. We did not go to storytime at the library more than a handful of times. I learned quickly that we had to remove his shoes during storytime at the library because during his fascination with the story his little body moved and those big shoes would inevitably hit one of the other little ones in the head, the side, the leg and then that became the fun of storytime.
We continued to go to the parks and the playground. He loved to play with other children and he loved to frolic about. Anyone could handle him in small doses. He was incredibly sociable. He loved to include everyone, even much younger children, but he did get rather intense after a while. He wanted everyone to play with him, do his thing and be just as enthused. So as I said we visited a variety of parks and playgrounds, met neighbors on our many walks and enjoyed an active life, though not many strong relationships with other children.
There were no red flags. Sure he was difficult, but all kids were in one way or another. But not all kids at age four had to be directed on how to play in a group or be watched constantly with verbal directions and physical direction while playing with other children in an enclosed back yard. I went to playgroup but was an extension of B not a mom who could visit and relate with the other moms. Perhaps that was my first clue. As my husband still says, when we are with B we are always “on pointe”.