Mike has gone all Dr. Phil on me. Let me explain. So, Matthew, last night was acting all crazy – really wild and emotional, bouncing off the walls, general tom-foolery, etc. Turns out the poor child is sick. He was fine yesterday – well, behavior-wise, not so fine, but health-wise; fine. He woke up today complaining of a tummy ache but was in good spirits, otherwise. We went to church where he proceeded to just lie across us through the entire Mass (sign #1 that something wasn’t right), he passed up the offer of fruit snacks (this is when I really wondered what was up), didn’t finish his donut (there’s something seriously wrong with this child!), complained of being hot and cold and hot and cold in the car and begged to go straight to bed when we got home. His temperature at noon was 99.4 – not terrible, but he definitely didn’t feel well. He took a three hour long nap and perked up a bit during the afternoon. Tonight, at bed time he started fading again and had a temperature of 101.9. Thankfully, his Tylenol kicked in and he came out of his room, feeling much better and ready to party until way past bedtime.
So, last night because of Matthew’s bad-choice-making behavior, I said that he couldn’t come with me to visit the kitties next door. (Our neighbors are out of town for a couple of days, so we get to cat-sit). Matthew was absolutely devastated that he didn’t get to come visit the felines and proceeded to wail and sob and carry-on in the most tragic – and loud – way. I could hear him next door!
Mike, in a moment of complete parental peace and tranquility, asked Matthew why he was sad. They discussed that Matthew’s actions had caused the consequence of not being able to visit the cats with me. Then, in a moment of pure child psychology-genius, Mike channeled his inner-Dr. Phil and asked Matthew to draw him a picture of how this all made him feel. Matthew, being the complete artist prodigy and genius that HE is, commenced at drawing a self-portrait complete with TEARS running down his cheeks. (If this doesn’t make you do the Oprah-ugly-that’s-just-so-darn-touching-Cry than there’s no hope for you). Matthew began his picture again this time drawing sad Matthew sitting on a bus. Matthew explained that he was sad on the bus because he’ll be going to a new preschool [starting this week] and won’t have Ms. Susan for a teacher anymore. Then, in the last artistic masterpiece, Matthew drew yet another bus and yet another Matthew – this one without tears. He added another little person on the bus. “Who’s that?” Mike asked. Matthew smiled, “That’s Jack. He’s going to come to my preschool to make me feel all better.”
Jack is Matthew’s special-good-pal from our childbirth class. Matthew is, shall we say, just a little obsessed with Jack…and his mom (my good friend) Megan. Anytime we’re playing – trucks, legos, workermen, whatever – the toys are named Jack and Megan. He named plants in our backyard: Jack, Jackie, Jack’s Grandma, and Megan. Every once in a while, Matthew refuses to answer to the name Matthew and claims that he is Jack and I am his mother, Megan. Now, we love Jack and Megan just as much as Matthew but we’re a little concerned. It’s touching that Matthew wants to bring Jack to his preschool to make him feel better, but we may just have to have Dr. Mike look into this whole obsession a bit more.
In the meantime, Matthew and I discussed preschool a bit more tonight when he was feeling better. He said that he’d be sad because I’d leave him there but he’d be OK too ‘cuz he was going to put a force-field around himself to protect himself. I pray that the force be with him.