My friend Sandi says her little one invented this word for himself, and that it has come to mean something like “someone who is very intense and flails around a lot.” Intense and flailing, eh? I think we have our own beeb.
She’s such a physical kid — not in the sense of climbing everything recklessly; she does climb a lot and seems to wish our couch was playground equipment, but she’s cautious on actual playground equipment. She’s physical in the sense that her intense feelings come out in physical expressions — the flailing — she’s quick to throw, bang, hit, spit, make faces, and otherwise physically lash out, without necessarily thinking about actually hurting or angering someone.
On the other hand, there have been several times that she has said to me, “Mom! I’m TRYING to make you ANGRY!!” So I suppose at least some of the time she is consciously trying to provoke a reaction.
We were at a birthday party today — started at lunchtime, with oh, ten kids, with lots of time playing in other parts of the house while the adults congregated in kitchen and dining area / living room. There was sugar. And there was no nap; Amy doesn’t always fall asleep in quiet time these days, but she still is used to a time alone with quiet reading or drawing after lunch.
I suppose there are more subtle, less-likely-to-disrupt-the-adults ways to get in trouble, but it seemed like ours was the only kid to yell, hit, or kick. She had one second chance, and then we took her home.
She’s not violent or mean intentionally; but when she gets where she can’t manage, she flails, either physically or verbally or both. Someday, oh someday, she’ll be able to use words, take time out, and otherwise manage her intensity. Meanwhile, we need to be more supportive / available / attentive in situations (e.g. sugar + no nap + many children) that are likely to be hard for her to manage.
I don’t think she has EVER yelled, hit, kicked, spit, thrown something, or banged something at school. A great deal of that must be the environment — Montessori puts a lot of energy into a prepared environment — the physical space, the organization and presentation of materials, and such things as grace and courtesy and conflict resolution. Even so, surely Amy has some rudimentary skills for managing her feelings and social interactions — just needs more supervision and guidance, I suppose.
So, next time, she will remain within our sight, and at first sign of trouble we’ll leave; she may insist she wants and should get a second chance, but it’s likely it won’t work well.
I’ll add that I think she knows that it’s wrong to hit, kick, etc. And that’s a good thing; even if she doesn’t always choose to do what’s right, knowing what’s right is a very important part of this battle.