Forest just turned 4 and a quarter. We haven't seen much of the fabulous fours that everyone told us about, but we are on an upswing. Weirdly, our biggest challenge these days is his shyness. We just had a parent/teacher conference and once again it was 'Forest is doing well. He's happy to be here and participates well, we have no behavioral issues with him but he doesn't talk. Like AT ALL.' I'm pretty sure my parents had some pretty similar sounding conferences regarding yours truly. He comes from a long line of introverts and more-than-normal shy people, the most obvious being me. From what I hear, my PawPaw Lee was remarkably shy too and had issues with the 'no talking' thing at school. It hurts my heart to think he's facing those same anxieties.
Luckily he goes to an incredible preschool and is thriving as much as he can and hopefully he will have the time and room to blossom there before he goes to big bad kindergarten.
He's made giant steps forward in his friendships and his teachers reassure me that he plays with the other kids and talks just fine with them but kind of freezes up when the adults talk to him.
Some people have mentioned 'selective mutism' to me (an anxiety disorder amongst children where they talk just fine but are basically silent in certain places/situations). It's hard to know if it's more than simple (albeit painful) shyness. My hunch is that it isn't but I think he'd maybe meet the diagnostic criteria for selective mutism at this point. He's made so much progress in the past few months without any intervention so I'm hesitant to make a big deal out of it if it's something he will conquer on his own. Especially since the more we/others draw attention to it, the more quiet he becomes. Parenting is hard, y'all.
I feel like all shyness is a form of social anxiety. He has the triple whammy of being a shy, introverted, only child. Any advice on how to help him is always appreciated!
We've noticed the more we stress about and over-analyze everything, the more inhibited he becomes, so my biggest goal is just to praise him when he's brave in talking, to model social initiative, and to give him exposure to as many social scenarios as possible. Small playdates with classmates have helped the most. Even his teachers have remarked a change in him over the last few weeks as we've been more committed to making those happen.
Anyway, that's enough of the worrisome stuff. Let's get to the fun stuff!
Height: Idk. I think 44.25 which would put him at around 95%. He is the midst of a growth spurt right now.
Weight: I'm guessing around 43 pounds. 90%. He's huge, y'all.
Favorite color: Still blue. In fact, his gymnastic teacher recently quipped: "I get two words out of Forest. 'Bye' and 'Blue'."
Favorite toy: He's actually getting away from playing with toys as much lately. Or he'll play with several toys in a huge make-believe scenario. His favorite thing is pretending to be Wall-E, a trash-robot, and he'll make stacks of 'trash' all over the house. He just loves to play pretend recently, whether that's being Pete the Cat or a sloth.
|Pete the Cat. And I'm not this messy, Pete just likes to discard clothes all over the floor.|
He also loves board games and card games. If I had to pick a true toy it would be his Lego sets, particularly star wars and he has a pizza restaurant that he loves.
Favorite Movie: Wall-E!
Favorite TV show: Daniel Tiger and Dinotrux
Favorite Book: My Father's Dragon. This was the first chapter book we read aloud with Forest and he's obsessed.
We read it several times a week and even have it on audiobook so he can listen to it when mommy needs a break. He recently discovered my old copy of 'A Light in The Attic' by Shel Silverstein which he hilariously refers to as my 'Bible' (because it looks like a Bible and was written by God, apparently) and the silly poems really get his giggle box going. He just loves reading, and the sillier, the better. His teachers did remark he's always first in the circle for storytime and he seems to get the silliness of books more than the other kids and just belly laughs the whole time.
Favorite Song: Hmmmm.... I don't know. We haven't really been into music lately. He still loves Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift though I'm a tad disappointed that her newest album isn't really appropriate for little ears.
Best Friends: Duck Andrew, Henry, Cousin Andrew and Quinn.
Cutest Sayings: Well there is a lot of potty talk and 'bad guy' talk lately which is not so cute.
But he says some pretty funny things and asks some conundrum questions. Here are some examples:
(After Bible Study) Forest: Mom, can I love God and the serpent?
F: But he's a snake and snakes are my favorite animal.
Me: But he wasn't really a snake. He had little legs.
F: Oh I thought he was a real snake, like a rattlesnake or one of my favorites.
F: Mom can we go to China?
F: Everything is made there. All my toys. Even my bed is made is China. Except my bananas. They were made in Mexico.
New Skills: Still not what I would consider 'fluently reading' (but I'm realizing maybe my expectations are too high?) but pretty solidly reading 1st/2nd grade reading level books.
I can't think of much else. Starting to add and subtract some simple sums in his head. Getting more coordinated and is much improved at gymnastics. He's seriously fast and never seems to tire so we may have an endurance athlete on our hands. The pictures he draws are starting to resemble real things, but I still feel like he's behind on this. Just not big on drawing these days.
|I love that he even drew Wall-E's lunchbox. And that I could look at his drawing and know exactly what he was going for.|