Wait Nemo. Get back here right now!
You’re too late. You’ll never get home now.
This is bad, Dory. Very bad.
You can’t catch me!
Jay has been scripting from the movie Finding Nemo A LOT lately. We used to not encourage the scripting. We wanted him to use his own original language. That was then. Now, I listen to him. Really listen. I don’t care if the words are originally his or if he’s borrowing them. The bottom line is that they are there and they are telling me something.
To the untrained ear, the movie lines that Jay has been perseverating on would seem random. But they are far from.
Obviously no-one in our home is actually named Nemo; but when I ask Jay to brush his teeth before bed and he replies with: Nemo, Nooo! Get back here right now! – That’s not literally what he means. He is communicating to us. And it’s clear as day to me that brushing his teeth is not something he wants to do at that moment – for whatever reason. Maybe I just need to give him some time. So often, a little more time is all he needs. Time to process.
When he’s snuggled under a blanket (or 2), after a very long day at school, watching TV and Ace starts talking and then Jay blurts out: Get away from that boat Nemo! – That’s not literally what he means. But I understand. He would like some peace and quiet to unwind. That’s what he needs.
When Jay is not comfortable with something, he lets us know. Even if it’s through Nemos words. As much as I hate to hear the Nemo scripts, I’m glad that it’s there for my son to use as a tool to let us know that all is not well.
Jay has a long school day (and by extension a long week). He wakes at 6:45 am and he doesn’t get home till 6:00 pm. When he’s tired, he gets grumpy. When he’s grumpy, we all feel it.
I know he’s having to adjust to a new teacher who puts a lot more demands on him that his last teacher did. He’s not happy about that. He really doesn’t like getting “red” days and he’s been getting a lot of them.
I have noticed that Jay seems to get cranky when bad weather is imminent. We had a week of pretty good weather but there was a storm brewing. It hit a couple of days ago. Maybe he felt the air pressure shifting. I’m not making this stuff up folks. I’ve been keeping track of his moods and what the antecedent is. His mood definitely seems to get affected by the weather.
Even though we have tried our best to keep it from the kids, there is some tension between Jay’s parents at the moment. Maybe he can feel it.
I don’t know why the last few days (couple of weeks) have been so hard but the bottom line is that I don’t like to see my boy in any kind of pain. I don’t like to hear about him acting out at school. I want to make it better. If hugging or caring or kisses or love alone would make it better he would never have any problems. Sadly, it’s not and my son is left to his discomfort.
It’s not easy to watch. I don’t think he is just being bad or acting spoiled. I think he’s really feeling something and it’s making him not be his best. I don’t think punishment is what he needs. He needs understanding.
But the truth is, when someone is crying or yelling a lot – after a while – You start to lose your mind. All you want is for it to stop. You may yell at them. You may put them in time-out. You know that’s not the way. But you are tired also and have run low on patience. You have just come home from a long day on the job and you have another child who needs your attention. You have dinner to prepare and bills to pay and clothes to iron. You have home work to check and a bathroom to clean and pets to feed. You have appointments to make and paperwork to fill out and lunch to pack. You have friends who need to talk to you about their own problems and you want to be there for them. Shoot, you have a shower you need to take.
But I try. I really do. Even when he is at his loudest, I try to speak to him in a calm, soothing tone. When he has stopped using his pleases and his thank yous, I gently remind him about them as I give him what he wants. When he yells, I whisper. When he seems open to it, I offer hugs. If there’s a morning here or there that brushing his teeth is just too much for him, he goes to school with funky breath. I use the scripts that have worked in the past. I sit with him on his bed and squeeze him. I ask him if he would like some juice.
Sometimes it helps, sometimes nothing works well.
Thankfully, the storm – complete with a tornado watch – has come and gone.
I haven’t heard any lines from Finding Nemo in a couple of days. Instead we have been watching Milo and Otis. Jay seems happier, calmer, more playful and more at peace.
I feel like I can sigh a little bit of relief today.
Until the next bad weather system passes through. Or until I get that dreaded request to watch Finding Nemo.