OK y'all, this Mom needs some suggestions stat. Because right now? I just don't know anymore.
The Doodle Bop. Technically the 'baby' of the family, even if it's only because he was born just 2 short minutes after his twin brother the Bunny Bee.
Sometimes he is the cuddliest, most lovable little guy who always wants to be attached to your arm. At one time I worried that his speech was behind the Bunny Bee's. While I knew he had all the words, he just didn't use them. It wasn't like when the Big Guy wasn't talking yet. This was different. I started to realize he was just quieter than the other two boys. And that was OK.
When he was ready to say something, boy would he say something. He's the guy who will speak a few small sentences here and there and then suddenly burst with excitement while he talks about dinosaurs - about how the "brachiasaurus has a big long long long neck" and eats from trees and lived in "back in the cretaceous period'" ... maybe not always 100% accurate, but he's 3 and trying to use these big huge words. Smart cookie.
Speaking of smart, we know how talented he is at taking things apart and whatnot.
I have however been noticing a strange pattern. While he was once able to dress himself on his own with a little prompting, get his jacket, follow other directions... now he will often stand there looking confused, telling me that he does not know what to do first - or next. And if I do not help him, he will stand there for a good half hour or so procrastinating and whining over not knowing what to do. I am really questioning if he was ever able to do these things - was it my imagination he used to? In the rush of always trying to get three boys ready and out the door, was I usually helping him the most? I no longer know.
He is going to be FOUR this summer. I find myself in a never ending daily struggle with him. "Doodle Bop get dressed, Doodle Bop get dressed"... to trying to break things down for him "Ok Doodle Bop, take off your pj top 1st..." and so on.
And yet nothing helps.
By the time he finally undresses himself he will stand there for another 20 minutes or so just staring at his clothes, even with my prompts on which piece to put on.
The struggle goes on all day. We do it all over again when it comes to getting his jacket on, getting into the truck, cleaning up ... you name it, he has a problem with it. For awhile I honestly thought he was messing with me. Just being stubborn to be stubborn. Now, I'm trying to listen to him a little more. And what I hear is always the same "but I don't know what to do next" or "but I forget". Is it really even possible he's getting his wires crossed trying to put these steps together?
He gets stuck on things too. It's like he can't move on to something else until what he wants to happen happens. A few nights ago we had it out shortly before bedtime. I'd gone through the long routine of trying to get him in pj's and then brush his teeth (his brothers were done in only a few minutes). He couldn't reach high enough to put his toothbrush back and I was in the middle of something. I don't know how many times I told him to leave the toothbrush on the counter and I would put it away for him. Screaming erupted from him and I ended up putting him to bed early. Just before his brothers went to bed I went in to speak to him. We talked about why Mommy was upset and he seemed like he understood. When I asked him why he doesn't do what I ask (like getting dressed) tears spilled down his cheeks and he said he doesn't know what to do.
After everyone was tucked in that night I stopped outside the twins door to listen to them talk. Doodle Bop was crying to the Bunny Bee that he really missed him. Bunny Bee asked why Mommy was mad. Doodle Bop said it was because he didn't leave his tooth brush on the sink and he couldn't remember what else. Something about it broke my heart.
I don't want to be too hard on this guy, but I also feel like I shouldn't have to stand over him at all times to get him to do things. I don't want to put a label on him but I'm worried I see some ADHD... in a way there has always been that feeling with him. Anyone else having these problems? I'm frustrated and I can't continue to spend half the day standing over him walking him through what he should be doing next. Is he messing with me, or is it really possible something gets in his way...