Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Today, I'm Feeling..."

I was the volunteer mom in Tucker's speech therapy today. It is the first time I have had the privilege of staying the entire hour, of watching closely, seeing my boy interact with his peers, and watching this world that is wholly his.

(It was very reminiscent of my teaching days. In all the best ways.)

As part of their conversational routine, Miss Jill has posted a Feelings Chart. The children each put a magnet on the feeling that best describes their mood of the day, and then they tell why they chose this one. The choices are happy, sad, tired, and angry.

The first boy chose happy. But he couldn't tell us why. He was just happy. (Hard to know if his lack of explanation was due to reasoning or speech inhibitions. Still, it was his choice.)

The next boy chose sad. Why? Because the sad face is blue, and blue is his favorite color. In his words, "I like blue." (So then it sounds to me that he is happy because he likes blue, but that's beside the point.)

The third boy chose tired. Why? No answer. (He was probably too tired to tell us.)

And then it was Tucker's turn. Tucker promptly, without question, chose angry.

Miss Jill said, "Tuck, are you angry today?"

"Yes. I'm very mad."

"Really? Why?"

"I'm mad at mommy."

(Oh, this is just great. I'm sitting right beside him. Of all the children to have an explanation for his mood of the day, my son chooses this moment to elaborate. Beautiful. Bring it.)

"Mad at mommy? Why?" (She winked at me. She was probing for more language, not family secrets. I'm just sure of it.)

"Mommy said, 'No, No, Tucker! Timeout! NOW!'" (He was yelling. And he continued.) "I'm mad at mommy for yelling at me."

Jill smiled at me, trying hard to sustain her laughter. I'm pretty sure she thought I was mortified by his honesty. Instead, I just said, "It's entirely possible, Jill. Entirely possible."

(It turns out, Jill later explained, Tucker always chooses angry. Usually he tells a reason why he is so angry with Tyler, for hitting or pushing or taking. And then he shrugs off his anger when it's time to move on to the next event of the hour.)

Great. At least he's honest. And verbal. Albeit angry.

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