Robert, my middle child, is an amazing little boy. He's also always seemed to have been in a "stage" his entire life.
When he was a baby he wouldn't let me hold him, even to nurse. I chalked it up to him being premature and us not bonding the way we would have if he had not been in an oxygen tent the first few days of his life.
When he was 2 and 3, he would throw screaming and kicking fits over the strangest things. The fits were so bad that Michael had to leave work to calm him down at daycare. I thought it was just the "terrible twos" and the "torrential threes."
When he was 4, he knew every kid in his class so well; what food they liked, what cartoon character was their favorite, and the order in which their parents came but not one of them would recognize him outside of school. I figured he was just an observant child, preferring to participate by watching others.
When he was 5 and terrified of going to school, I assumed it was because he was born premature and in late July so I held him back a year to give him time to catch up.
When he was 6, he was constantly getting in trouble at school and at home for not controlling his body. He would break out into a dance when he was stressed, throw his arms around not paying attention to what or who he was about to hit. When he kicked the back of my car seat repeatedly no matter how many times I told him he hurt me and when he hit a stranger in the face in the grocery store just a few days later, I decided that this wasn't just a stage and called his doctor.
He has an appointment with a neurologist in October and the wait is killing me. I of course am running through all of his developmental stages in my head and am wondering if I missed something along the way. Were they all really just stages or does the behavior add up to a sum greater than its parts? Am I seeing something that isn't there or has he been battling with something his whole life. Time will tell, I suppose! Until then, I deal with the Mommy Guilt...maybe that's just a stage!