Son #3 (age 4 1/2) was invited to the birthday party for the grandson of a friend of mine. The birthday boy turned 6. Son #3 was so excited - this was the first time he was invited to the party that was not a family member's party. The party was held at this little karate place where the Birthday Boy takes lessons. I thought Son #3 would love it since he's always jumping and kicking, but...
BUT. I didn't realize just how his sensitivity to loud noises would play out. You see, my youngest son doesn't like loud noises unless he's the one making them.
We arrive, Son #3 gives the Birthday Boy his gift, which he picked out on his own, I might add (a Lego Star Wars set), then Son #3 is invited to take off his shoes and line up with the other guests on the mat. They start with introductions and the instructors show each kid where to stand: on a white "X" on the mat, so that they're far enough from one another so they don't collide. They start with a warm up: running in place, which must have seemed pointless to Son #3 because he wouldn't do it.
Next they were shown how to do a couple of blocks and punches, and taught how to do the karate yells. Son #3 was doing a good job with the movements, but at this point I could see that he was wiping his eyes repeatedly and trying his best to maintain his composure.
I didn't want to be too quick to jump in and rescue him so I watched for a bit. Finally, he walked off the mat, leaving behind his little exposed white "X" and sat in the chair next me. I tried pointing out how much fun the other kids were having, how most of them had never done karate before, how much it was like Power Ranger School. He was having none of it.
He did perk up and rejoin the rest of the kids when the pizza, cake and ice cream was served.
I'm sure his sensitivity to loud sounds is only part of it. A bigger part, I'm sure, is the fact that he's with me all day long and although we do have our fun, we also spend a lot of time running errands and doing other 'grownup stuff.' Finally, doesn't really have much opportunity to spend time with kids his own age. He's much more used to being around his older brothers who, although noisy at times, are past the age where they yell just for the sake of yelling.
I wonder how he'll do when he starts kindergarten next year.