Tom still feeling anxious about upcoming birthday

Guardian columnist Jo Worgan
Guardian columnist Jo Worgan

The past week has been a mixed one for Tom.

We had a somewhat unsettled weekend, although Sunday afternoon was relatively calm as Andrew had taken Stephen to school with him and I took Tom to feed the ducks along the canal, something that he always enjoys.

He also knows that he is off school for his birthday as it falls in the Easter holidays, I told him this and now regret doing so as every Wednesday he tells me that he is off school as it is his birthday

He is still very anxious about his birthday, which is not until April. He also knows that his birthday is on a Wednesday and so therefore, every Wednesday he thinks is his birthday.

This morning he asked me, “Is Wednesday my birthday?” to which I replied “yes your birthday is on a Wednesday.”

He also knows that he is off school for his birthday as it falls in the Easter holidays, I told him this and now regret doing so as every Wednesday he tells me that he is off school as it is his birthday.

So he is filled with anxiety. I am going to make him a Birthday Countdown Calendar that will show him when his birthday is. Hopefully this will help him, as he can physically see the number of days.

On a more positive note, Tom is coping much better with visitors at school. He would usually tell them to ‘get out’. We have to look at this though from his point of view. He is in his class, doing his normal work, his normal routine and then all of a sudden there is a disruption to that calmness, that sameness.

Someone who he doesn’t know enters the classroom, usually a parent and a child, who have come to have a look around the school.

Many years ago I was that parent and Tom was that child, it is a scary experience. Anyway, Tom has understandably had difficult with this, so the teachers have been working with him to help alleviate this stress and to help him welcome people into the classroom.

This has been ongoing. Anyway, last week he brought home ‘Star of the Week’ for having a fantastic week welcoming visitors into his class.

He was very proud of this accomplishment, as was I. What made me smile though was when I read his school chat book yesterday, as he may now be too welcoming, as he tried to give the visitor a hug. At least he didn’t tell them to get out.