On Tuesday, Nathan told me that his teacher had decided not to give them any homework for the week. I was suspicious over this bit of good news.
Later that night, I got an email from the teacher telling me that Nathan refused to paste his math homework into his homework book and threw it across the room, refusing to take it home. She told him that if he didn't take his book home, he would lose his first recess today.
Do regular kids have tantrums like this? Or are they smart enough to simply ditch the homework book on the way home and protest to everyone that they have no idea what happened to it?
Right now, I feel exhausted and unable to come up with any kind of solution on this. Nathan's bursts of irrational fear come without warning and don't last long enough to really work on. A week ago, he was afraid the cats were going to eat him and screamed whenever he saw one. That was one day and I only found out why he was screaming three days after the fact. No real opportunity to deal with it.
It's like random things come together in his mind and link up, causing anxiety. There's usually something he's anxious about but the constantly changing form defeats my grasp of basic psychology. There has to be an underlying pattern or cause, but I can't see it.
I'll figure it out or I'll keep putting out fires. But it can't be any fun for Nathan (although I suspect he does use it sometimes to get out of demands).
On the way home, (before I knew about the homework), I told Nathan that his babysitter was sick and would have to cancel. He just burst into tears there on the sidewalk and wouldn't move for five minutes. He cried like someone who'd been left at the altar by their childhood sweetheart. He was absolutely inconsolable.
These strong emotions are worrying to me. They're so overwhelming for him. But I don't want to teach him to squish down his feelings and pretend he doesn't feel anything. I also don't want him to be a target for bullies (and big reactions are a bully's delight).