Our eldest son has an oral fixation. That boy will put the strangest things in his mouth ... rocks from the street, lego, crayons, pieces of paper, twigs, pennies, play dough. He started sucking his thumb in the womb and recently developed the nasty habit of biting his nails.
The child is five years old. Will he never grow out of this stage?
Yesterday our son's teacher caught him eating chalk. Apparently, it was not an isolated incident. I was surprised to learn he has also been disciplined for chewing on markers in the classroom. I promised my son's teacher I would discuss his behavior at home.
The crux of the issue is this: Our son is incredibly bright, seems to be an auditory learner, and has an outstanding vocabulary. He's sensitive, compassionate, and has a strong sense of right and wrong. However, he is also strong-willed and difficult to motivate, highly independent and opinionated. He's prone to angry outbursts and sullen moods.
Our boy is a surprisingly difficult ship to steer. By the grace of God, we're working on it.
This morning my husband took our son aside to discuss the chalk-eating incident. Ben gently explained why consuming the classroom's chalk is unacceptable behavior. Our son did not take his reprimand gracefully.
Our five-year-old squared his shoulders, looked his father in the eye and exclaimed, "No! I will not eschew eating chalk!!"
Score one for the preschooler. How many five-year-old boys can correctly use a word their mother has to look up in a dictionary?