Thursday, October 30, 2014

The boy who couldn't Pretend.

C-note is a curious boy.  I often tell him that he's really Sid the Science kid, because he wants to know everything about everything.  But of course he's rooted in reality and he laughs and asks if I can't even recognize my own kid, because he's obviously not anything but himself.

C-note is 7yrs old.  C-note has a very hard time pretending about anything.  Inoticed at a very young age that every time I would pretend to build a house with blocks or any pretend play with toys, C-note would become extremely upset.  He would knock down blocks, start to cry or even try to cover my mouth.  I believed that I simply hadn't found the correct thing to interest him yet.  After all, every child likes to pretend.  I'd worked in Church children's ministry's since my early teens. I "knew" what to expect.

When he was between 1 and 2 yrs old the aversion to pretend play because very apparent.  He LOVED to watch Go Diego Go.  I thought this would be a wonderful thing.  We would pretend to go on adventures and pretend to talk to the animals and rescue them.  So I told C-note the game we would play and I began to pretend that he was Diego and I was baby Jaguar.  Only C-note didn't start playing with me.  He threw himself on the floor in complete despair.  He kept crying his name over and over and saying he was NOT Diego.

Stunned, I sat down and held him close.  I tried to explain that I knew he wasn't Diego.  It took a long time to calm him down.   That moment drove home for me that my little boy was different.  Up to that point I kept buying different toys, hoping that something about it would catch his interest, but always falling flat.  I would do pretend play myself, hoping that he would join in, to no avail.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  I suffered 2 miscarriages and was told that I wouldn't be able to have any children at all.  He was a miracle.  But he didn't meet my expectations.  Off and on throughout the years, I still have tried to engage him in pretend play.  I know how important it is for development.

It wasn't until he started Kindergarten at 6 yrs old that he began to pretend.  He had been in preschool before that, but he didn't care.  Something finally clicked in his brain.  You can't imagine how happy I was.  He not only started to pretend, but he started to race around with the other boys in his class.

He is still firmly rooted in reality.  He would still rather read a book on facts than a story book.  But he is now trying to understand what other kids find so amazing about pretending.    I had to let go of my dreams of what my child would be, and accept the child I was given.  He is awkward with pretending, but it's ok.  He is an amazing boy with an amazing brain.

I'm glad I didn't get the child of my dreams.  I got something so much better.  I got my C-note.  He makes my heart sing.

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