BBZ's school offers a program called Second Steps. I don't know a whole lot about it, but I do know that they focus a lot on talking about and identifying feelings.
During dinner, BBZ told me...
...you know that yucky feeling that you get in your tummy? Before you throw up, and it doesn't feel good or feel right? Well, that is an uncomfortable feeling. And do you know the feeling when you are cuddling with your blankie or favorite toy on the couch and you are nice and warm? That's a comfortable feeling."
While I was quite impressed with what he had retained from his classroom's session that day, I didn't really think much of it. BBZ was already quite in tune with his feelings.
BBZ and N were engrossed in a video game last night, so we let him stay up about 45 minutes past his regular bedtime. It was now the time that he was usually falling asleep when we began to tell him he needed to brush his teeth, get his jam jams on, etc.
He was dawdling and fidgeting and dragging his feet, and I was getting aggravated. When he finally came into the bathroom, he wanted me to sing the tooth brushing song I always sing when he brushes. I started to, but my voice clearly was not happy about it and I was putting the toys from the bath away rather than watching him like I always do.
I looked over at him as I continued to sing, and I saw his eyes well up with tears.
He began to cry, really big tears, then he grabbed his tummy and said "I have an uncomfortable feeling!!!"
It was all I could do not to giggle when I first heard him say it. Then I really looked at his face, and his feelings were genuinely hurt (and apparently really uncomfortable for him).
I'm still not exactly sure what he was so upset about. Chances are it was because he was so tired. Maybe it was because he really likes the song I sing and I wasn't giving it the fair attention it deserved. Whatever it was, he expressed himself without hitting, kicking, or throwing anything around him at me.
Second Steps mission accomplished.