Terrible Two’s or Terrible Eight’s? When Exceptional Children Catch Up on Developmental Milestones

Ok, so last week after a very long and busy day, I come home at ten o’clock at night to a super alert eight year old, a worn out forty something year old, his Dad Johnny, and half a jar of Vaseline that was half empty due to the eight year old  eating and smearing it everywhere. Why did I go to that workshop, I remember thinking?

“He ate the Vaseline while in bed. When I went to check on him I noticed it. I called Poison Control. They told me it was fine. He needs to drink lots of water. Tomorrow his stools may be very soft.”

A fight ensued between Johnny and I, Michael refused to fall asleep until well after eleven, and we were all frustrated and exhausted. Needless to say, I put the rest of the Vaseline away in a locked medicine cabinet. It had only been on a high shelf in Michael’s room because he had had a cold with a red nose. The Vaseline and Desitin cream were helping soothe that, and so I left it there if he needed to put more on in the night. I thought my problems were over, until the other day, when he came out wearing lavender oil like sunscreen on his face, arms and hair. He had put it on precisely three minutes before the bus came. Sigh. I asked if he’d eaten any. No. This time he found it in my room. I had been using this during massage time in the evening. And Michael’s words when I’d yelled why he’d done this?

“Because it smells nice Mommy. And I feel so relaxed.”

I’m glad one of us felt relaxed! I was worried about the wonderful yet strong scent. What if one of the kids had an allergic reaction? I wrote an email to the teacher explaining what happened, and letting her know that we would be locking up everything in the medicine cabinet, including massage oil. It had felt in the last week as if Michael was going through the terrible two’s with all this risky behavior and curiosity, dangerous at times. And he may very well be. He never did this at the developmentally appropriate age, as neuro typical children do. Sigh. Now it’s coming out in unexpected ways. I’m glad he is doing it, I just feel some times I can’t keep up guessing his next move. Add to that the fact that he is bigger, stronger and faster to run after.

What do you notice with your Exceptional Children, Moms? What activities drive you crazy or worry you in the moment, but you know are signs of developmental progress? Start noticing when these things happen, and see if you can find other ways to redirect your child’s creativity. I am there now, and this second reminder is my indication to provide Michael with lots of different activities to keep his active brain engaged. I definitively need to think of chemistry sets, pottery classes maybe. And I’ll have the bonus of less grey hair forming and no calls to Poison Control. Until next time.

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