I read your note three times, thank you SO much for putting so much time into it (especially given your sleep deprivation!). Our DSs do sound a lot alike. I can totally see Z acting exactly as your DS did when you left. I'm dreading that the absolute most. I mean, he's only ever been without me when I had A in Nov. and it was rough. And that was with my mother and sister staying at my house so that he didn't even have to stay in a different place. I'm wondering if I should at least try to leave him at my mother's house without me for a few hours beforehand, just for practice, you know?
You asked how he does at birthday parties. Well, he's only ever been to his cousins' parties (at birthday venues, instead of their houses), and it's more of the same. He clings to me and doesn't interact with the other kids.
Yes, I'm very worried about him modeling his behavior after his older brother. Because of his special needs N still isn't completely potty trained, and I know Z thinks "If N doesn't have to do it, neither do I." And other things I won't get into. That's playing a big part in this decision, I have to say.
You're right about the older kids making fun of kids who cry for their mommies. I see it in karate. The kids say things to me like "He's a baby." I want to punch them, but their parents are watching, LOL! (I'm kind of kidding
) They cut him in line and act like he's not really part of the class. Sigh.
I'm so happy to hear that your DS has really overcome a lot of the challenges, for the most part. I agree with you wholeheartedly that six months is a long time, and I feel like it's a lot of time that he could be gaining some serious skills instead of the same ole, same ole here at home.
Thanks a million for your advice.