Our son communicates in drawings

SOMETIMES being a parent can be baffling. Our four are constantly throwing us curved balls.

The older two talk in riddles, and when they do deign to speak to us they seem to miss off the beginning and end of every sentence.

Three-year-old Bonnie has decided that every mealtime is mucking-about time. She knows perfectly well how to sit at a table and use a knife and fork. But lately she’s given up all table manners, eats with her fingers, keeps her mouth open when chewing and gets up and down from the table several times. And she shouts “tomato sauce” at everyone regardless of what’s on her plate.

Little Bill has taken to drawing everything and writing notes. Not unusual for an eight year old, you might think, but as well as lovely messages like ‘I love you Mum’ left on my side table, or portraits of everyone stuck to bedroom doors, if he’s told off or is in a grumpy mood, he writes lists of ‘things he should be happy about’ or draws pictures of himself looking sad. Or captions describing himself ‘mean’.

It’s heartbreaking, and when we ask him about it, he brushes it off as just something he likes to do.

We’ve worried that he’s feeling he’s not getting enough time with us, what with the constant demands of four offspring with differing demands, especially his little sister. As he usually seems pretty content and good at getting himself up and dressed and ready for anything, maybe we’ve not given him as much attention. Something we’re now trying to remedy.

Still, he’s better than the rest of us at art already.

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