Today was school picture day at Zion's preschool. He was not pleased. Despite the fact that just last night he was telling us about how he never wants to move because he likes his school so much, this morning found him screaming and crying and shouting that he never wants to go to school again. My well honed mama instincts guessed that the looming photographs might be the trouble and Zion confirmed this. He wasn't interested in rational discourse, he wasn't interested in rewards for bravely facing his fears. For a while we had a compromise worked out (he would be in the class picture but not do individual ones) but as we prepared to leave that fell through, too.
Once at school he clung to my leg while insisting that I leave. Gail saw his wobbly mouth and took him to feed Obadiah (the class beta fish, named by Zion). He cheered right up, and I explained to Kathy that the pictures were troubling him. She confirmed that it was totally normal, and that he needn't participate if it was upsetting to him. In the end he was in the class picture but didn't do individual shots. When he talked to Robert on the phone at lunch time Zion happily informed him that he had been "just joking" about not wanting his picture taken. Hopefully that means he'll participate more next year!
Interestingly enough when we got to school this morning I suddenly remembered my own 3 year old school pictures. I don't know if there are any individual ones, but in the class picture I am crying. Apparently I had some similar issues (and to think- now I love to be in pictures! LOL). At his parent/teacher conferences last week Zion's teachers mentioned that he's very cautious, and likes to observe new situations and people from a safe distance before deciding if he wants to join in or not. When I passed that on to my own mother she laughed and said, "He gets that from you! That's just how you were".
See? He's not a total clone of Robert! He appears to have some of my charming behavioral patterns, too!