It's all gotta go somewhere


Dashiell has now completed his first full week of school, and already he is a changed little man–speaking in long complicated sentences, braving water, sand, and all physical obstacles, and a lot more role playing.

Often at bedtime, he calls me back for…something. Of course he is delaying going to sleep but he also needs some help with transitions–always has. So often I’ll go back in and give him a glass of water or tell him a story. Lately I’ve been pretending it’s Bear who’s telling the story, and I often borrow snippets of his well-known adventures in the Karma Wilson books. “My” stories, spoken as Bear, often have a twist, in which Dashiell plays a role in these stories. In them, they have skiied together, braved rain storms, and eaten fish right out of the stream. The other day D told me he knew Bear was “not a real bear.” But then last night at bedtime (#2 visit), he told me that he had forgotten to tuck Bear in (Bear sleeps on a crib mattress on the floor in his room). So I got him out of the crib and he tucked Bear in, and then pretended Bear had been crying and calling out to him (as D often calls out in the early mornings — we are working hard on limiting “calling out” unless “something is really really really wrong”). He said to Bear: “I’m so sorry, Bear, I’m so so sorry!” And he rubbed Bear on the back and continued, “I’m right here, in the crib next to you, close by, Bear. I’m so so sorry I didn’t hear you call out right away. Don’t call out in the night, ok, Bear? I’m going to leave the door open. I love you.”

Earlier that same night, when I was putting him to bed the first time, we did our “say who loves me” routine, where I list all the people who love him (it’s a long list so it takes quite awhile!). This list evolves to include people we meet or new friends at school. I usually include the teachers and friends from the old school, which he enjoys remembering, since he was so close with them. Last night he said, “name the other lady.” And so I named lots of other teachers from other classrooms and names of teachers who often substituted while the core teachers were on break. I must have named 4 or 5 like that. And then I thought of one lady whose name I couldn’t remember, and I said, “Oh, do you mean the lady with the short hair and the red cheeks?” And he said “Yes!” and I said, “I can’t remember her name” to which he replied, “I can’t remember too.” And then he added: “Tomorrow, after gymnastics, and after my nap, let’s go to Goddard and see the lady with the short hair, okay, Mommy?”

Boy Indigo

(photo by Don Weiss. Don, I’ve named this one Boy Indigo).


  1. Grandma Beverly

    Someday Bear will be his children. You have taught him those loving skills and he is already passing them down. He knows how it comforts him to be talked to and loved on. what an amazing young man!!!

  2. sherry

    Role playing is a good way to address inner fears. The bear story is so sweet.

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