Thursday, October 11, 2012

Big kids scare the heck out of me

Big kids scare the heck out of me
Big kids scare the heck out of me
Whenever I see them, gosh, oh gee
Big kids scare the heck out of me
-John Lithgow's  song "Big Kids" from his CD, Singin' in the Bathtub
I have to begin with...Miles is *loving* his preK program. He has never expressed any resistance to going each day, and I've enjoyed watching him do things with Felix that are clearly taken from his experience--like be bossy. Yes. I like seeing him be bossy. He loves his teachers, his friends, and I hope according to his teachers, is thriving. Although, like so many other moms I have talked to, when you press your kids for school details, they totally give you a 1-liner and then tell you they are too tired to talk about it, "Mommy, I'm too tired to tell you. Let's wait until Daddy comes home."
Although he doesn't mention it as much, the one area of lingering sensitivity in this new preK program is...THE KINDERGARTEN CLASS. Apparently it's made up of overwhelming monsters who are 6 feet tall and resemble ogres. I mean, according to Miles.
I've talked about it here before, but Miles is my shy and nervous kid. Felix is the antithesis to that. One of my challenges as a mother is to work through these different personalities, and support each of them as they navigate through life.
I'm not the first one to have birthed polar opposite personalities. When I  read: When Your Child is Afraid of Everything...or Nothing over at Imperfect Mommy, I was all, guuurl, I totally get it!
Miles is my observer. Although he can be physical with Felix, he is not the first boy to jump off a slide, or dart toward a soccer ball and get caught up in a 4-year-old melee. And yet, just a little over a month at preK, and he has started taking dominance over the little kids at his old childcare that he goes to after preK. It's been interesting to observe.
I've realized that more than "things," Miles is afraid of "big kids." I've asked him what he thinks they will do to him, or why they are scary, but he always responds with "they make me nervous." Eric thinks it all stems back from the one baby who randomly slapped Miles at childcare when they were less than 1 year. At first I dismissed this, but one time when I asked Miles about being nervous, he told me that at childcare a boy hit him when he was a baby.
Okay, that's a little strange.
Anyway, Miles is fine around adults, or teenagers who must seem like adults to's just those loud and crazy kids from like 3-12. His preK is the first time he has consistently been around more than 2 kids who are bigger and older than he. And I can't wait to see his growth at the end of the year in terms of his comfort level with "big kids".
I don't expect him to become my alpha child, and I certainly have no problem recognizing that his social nervousness may be enough reason to have him do the whole preK thing again. (Well, that and the complete lack of interest in holding a pencil and writing.) But I am confident that his social and emotional growth this year is going to be remarkable.
**I've included the full set of lyrics for Lithgow's song. It's quite catchy and we sing it a lot at our house.
Big kids scare the heck out of me
Big kids scare the heck out of me
Whenever I see them, gosh, oh gee
Big kids scare the heck out of me

Big kids comin' down the sidewalk
Bid kids running through the halls
Big kids racin' cross the playground
Big kids playin' ball


Big kids are loud and noisy
Big kids are strong and tall
Big kids are rough and tough and rowdy
They make me feel so small


Now here's a story that goes along with the song

I saw a little kid coming round the corner
He saw me and ran and hid
I asked him what he was afraid of
Was it something I did?

He said -

He said I scared the heck out of him
He said I scared the heck out of him
I'm a real nice guy, wouldn't hurt a flea
And this little fellow was afraid of me

He said - Big kids scare the heck out of me
Big kids scare the heck out of me
I told him I got news for you
Big kids scare the heck out of me too

He said no
I said yeah


Well we talked it over for a real long time
He laughed a lot, he did a little crying
The very next day when I saw him again
This little fella had become my friend

Well now, big kids never scare the heck out of us
Big kids never scare the heck out of us
We wonder now why we made such a fuss
'Cuz Big kids
Big kids
Big kids hardly ever scare the heck out of us

1 comment:

  1. The fact that John Lithgow (among others, I am sure) has written a song about it lets you know how universal an issue "fear of big kids" is. It's helpful that Miles has had some exposure to big kids in a smaller setting than public school so that when he gets there, he will have gained some confidence. There is no way around the fact that as the oldest, he has to forge new ground in a way that subsequent children do not. He will always be the ground breaker in the family even without the temperament to make it easy for him. You are doing a great job helping him, though.