The ability to self-soothe begins to emerge around 61 months.

Posted on
Categories Activities, Behavior, Childcare, Development, Preschoolers

At five years old, my twins may be the oldest reflected here at HDYDI. They make up for that by having the maturity and social skills of two week olds.

I’m kidding! Mostly. During their first year, they attended two home daycares until we convinced my sister-in-law to watch them. She continued until I quit my job to stay home, and since then the boys have tolerated several teenaged babysitters and one Wednesday night church program, but that is the extent of their exposure to people outside our family. Playdates have been met with violence – not against the other children, thank goodness. When confronted with *outsiders*, one of my boys hides behind me and punches me repeatedly in the posterior. This is his way of indicating, “Mother, I am anxious and would like to withdraw from the situation now, if it pleases you.” It’s a lot like baby sign language.

The boys, before they realized I don't actually attend preschool with them.
The boys, before they realized I don't actually attend preschool with them.

Anyway, the boys started preschool last Wednesday. The first day, parents were to stay and the boys were cautiously optimistic when they saw all the toys and play areas. When parents were ushered to the next room for a meeting, I hoped the toys would keep the boys comfortable. I hoped so, fervently, for the first 5 minutes of the meeting, until a teacher brought one of my red-faced, teary-eyed boys to the door and beckoned to me.

I spent the rest of the day as the only parent forced to escort her children through circle time — one boy burying his face in my neck with his legs wrapped around my waist; the other angrily punching me in the behind. I didn’t know what to do, so I just smiled extra-bright and sang, “Wheels on the Bus” and played Red Light Green Light like the boys and I were conjoined triplets.

My husband works second shift, so he handles preschool drop off. Thank God, because I don’t think I could take it. Days two and three of preschool went as you can imagine, with sobbing and screaming and clawing desperately to get back into the car. Apparently they calm down within a few minutes of Jason leaving, and they tolerate the rest of the day reasonably well.

P told me, “One time I started to cry, but I told myself, ‘I gotta pull it together!’ and then I was okay.” Now if only their mother could also master this skill, we’d be in business.

Share this...Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Tumblr0Share on Reddit0Digg thisShare on LinkedIn0Email this to someone

5 thoughts on “The ability to self-soothe begins to emerge around 61 months.”

  1. Oh dear! *hugs*

    I think the fact that my husband is frequently overseas and that we don’t have family nearby forces us to constantly expose my daughters to new things and being away from family (at daycare). I think I need to think of my hubby’s absences as an opportunity rather than a burden. I also have (frighteningly) outgoing kids; they’re the ones that try to catch other diners’ eyes at restaurants so that they can tell them about their day at school.
    .-= Sadia´s last blog ..Cooler =-.

  2. I am sure that it will get better as they get used to the situation, but I have to tell you, I peed myself a little bit with the image of conjoined triplet red light green light.

    my kids have similar family-only issues and loudly tell people in stores, on the street, driving their own cars and minding their own business “I DON”T LIKE YOU LADY!” It’s charming.
    .-= jeanne´s last blog ..Tuesday morning (in numbers) =-.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge