Pollito is showing some classic signs of being a normal 3 1/2 year old (except that he is 4 1/2 but that's OK.) He is also showing some disturbing RAD like behaviors that are not present in my two older kids although some were present before in them. So my questions to myself are: How did I miss this? and Am I jumping to conclusions? Some examples:
He is a chatterbox. Has been for about a year which has really helped his language skills. Trouble is he doesn't ever stop now and I mean ever. It used to be ongoing prattle about his day, asking questions, talking about what he saw, etc. Kid stuff. But these days it is LOUD and nonsense chatter is incessant. Asks questions about the obvious: "Are we having dinner" in the middle of eating dinner? "Is this a car" as he sits in one. Etc. Etc. Etc. We get in the car and he starts up. Sometimes it is just noise, sometimes words, but mostly nonsense. Did I say it never stops. I do mean that. Even if I tell him to put his hand over his mouth he continues. The volume is deafening and can be heard from far and wide. It's not screaming but it might as well be.
Then there is the hitting and hurting of his 1 1/2 year old sister. He has never been a hitter or shown any real aggression or meanness towards anyone that I know of. Right now he is in school so I could pass it off as something he has learned there. It could be true except that the hitting is disturbing because it is not out of anger or frustration. It's a "crime" of opportunity AND he looks to see if I am watching before he does it so it isn't quite so impulsive. Lastly, it is done without any expression on his face. He also does things like pull chairs away just as Milagro is about to sit down or put big toys behind her so she trips or bumps into them. He will put his foot out or hand out to trip her as well. He also tries to "feed" her things (like rocks, lint, cat food and cat poop)when they are playing. He uses a sweet little voice to coax her into doing it. Again, there is no expression and he denies it even if he knows we saw him do it. I hadn't really registered that until I read a post by The Accidental Mommy addressing a similar thing. Then I started being more vigilant and have now witnessed two dozen or more incidents so it is a pattern.
He is getting sneaky and telling more fibs but that could just be 4 year old stuff. Yet, he lies most elaborately when caught with the evidence in his hand then just has a meltdown. He is peeing out of anger. Really. In interesting places. Other people's places. Not an ounce of impulse control these days, destroys everything, . He rolls his eyes when he apologizes, makes "mean" faces at people (not just his siblings), and so on. Did I mention his interest in fire? Hadn't noticed that one before.
I have been vigilant with him since he came at 2 1/2 because he exhibited lots of sensory issues and hated to be hugged, wiped kisses off his face, raged often, had been neglected by birth mom, and had been moved twice in his first 2 years of life. I showered him with love and affection. He was/is a little guy so I carried him around in a sling, co-slept, swaddled him, babied him, bottle fed him, spoon fed him, etc. We had a chance to do most of the baby bonding thing with him because of age, size and developmental level. Granted, given the other kids' needs, he doesn't get as much one on one as he could. So I keep watching and trying to be proactive and try not to worry because it could be normal stuff. Plus he has been around it so much that who knows maybe he thinks it's what he is supposed to do around here. :)