The tic tock of a boy's life
Yeah, so Maxi-Taxi has developed a new nervous tic. He's had tics off and on since he started school in January this year. Mostly on. He brushes his hand down his face and then the back of his head. Or he quickly touches both ears and then his chin. Or sometimes he touches each shoulder and opens his eyes really wide. He's very busy. Sometimes when he gets tired there's so much activity going on that I'm tempted to throw him in the bath with the washing.
The fact that I can make a joke like that shows just how far we've come. When the tics first started, we were horrified, baffled and frightened. Ahead I saw a lifetime of over-clean hands and shouting out fuck at old ladies on public transport. He was just so little and so new and we saw this tic business as just another overwhelming thing for the poor lad to have to deal with. We contacted the school counsellor who assured us that tics were relatively common children prone to nervousness start school. I googled the life out of it, of course. 6-8% is reasonably common compared to other weird (0.5 - 1%?) stuff kids get up to. Anyway, to reassure us, the counsellor met with Maxi-Taxi and gave us a call following their meeting.
"He's fine," she said. "Actually, he's beyond fine. He just described anxiety in the most articulate way I've ever heard."
He said: "T he world is a very big place and doing this makes it feel smaller."
My goodness. Were these funny little rituals the reason why my usually anxious little fella was coping so beautifully at big school? Indeed, they were Maxi-Taxi's comfort and friend and while I can't say we also became besties, I suddenly saw the tics in a whole new light.
Since those early days, they've slowly been reducing in number and frequency and they stopped altogether for a day or two over the school holidays. We can assume that they're probably just a temporary thing. With the threat of total life malfunction behind us, these days they're just something he does.
That said, I mentioned there's a new one. At football training on Wednesday I found myself saying, in reply to a direct question: "no, no he's been totally nit-free for a week. He's just scratching his head constantly as a comfort thing."
All eyes on Maxi-Taxi. Doubt in those eyes. Heeeeelllloooo Nit Boy.
[Image found here]