My, usually outgoing, happy 4 year old son seems to be loosing interest in EVERYTHING. He loves the water and prefers to play inside and especially outside, swimming, riding his bike, taking walks and just playing. He loves to play imaginatively one on one with me and feels like one of the guys when hanging out with his Dad, my brother and our male friends and neighbors. He collects Hot wheel Monster Jam trucks and Hot wheels cars (He knows exactly which item he wants next with backup in case it's not there. He knows that he will not always get a toy when we're out and there are no tantrums over a simple "Not today Buddy". He's a very well behaved boy and he earns an allowance which he saves to buy the toys. He was very excited about it until recently when he got in this funk. He's advanced for his age and has a different understanding of things than his age group but sometimes he turns things into something they're not as any preschool aged child will do. He has always had but lately he has a lot of OCD'ish tendencies like having to wipe his face every three strokes or so when he's brushing his teeth, needing the toilet lid down when he, or anyone, flushes (He will literally run into the bathroom, throw the seat down and step back when he hears it flush). He has been holding his BM's because he says he doesn't want to pee when he poops. He takes only showers now because he says tubs are dirty and sitting in water is gross. He has no interest in animals and turned his back to them the entire time we were at a local petting zoo. We have a kitten and he doesn't want it touching him but he'll pick it up and put it in a box in the corner and walk away. He pleasurably kills insects and lays on his belly to inspect them. Don't even know how this started but he's been on a "zombie" kick since he was 2 1/2 no matter how hard we've tried to redirect him (until recently when even that doesn't interest him) He likes to be the zombie or hunt zombies.He doesn't like Play Doe or soft foods like ice cream, pudding, jello applesauce because of the texture but, ironically, he'll play in mud all day if we let him (usually) He has to stop and pick up items off the ground and put them back when we're shopping or he's unsettled for days about the mess he left behind, etc. but his toys are all over the house. Not an issue. We are not filthy but we are not neat freaks either so it's not that he is constantly hounded to be neat and tidy at home. He's just really obsessed with being clean and cleanliness. Lately he is not interested in playing with his toys, going outside to play or going places he normally likes to go. I take him to the park and he sits on a bench We go with friends and their kids and he just walks around watching the kids play looking sullen. His smiles and laughs are forced for our benefit. He only goes to the store when he has to and he doesn't look around or talk about anything other than the things that have fallen off racks or shelves. He doesn't answer us when we try to strike up a conversation or try to suggest play ideas (or ask him what he wants to do) but instead will cover his head with a blanket or tucks it in his shirt and writhes around on the floor like he's being bothered. We don't make a big deal about it and will ask one more time then tell him that he can let us know when he's ready to play. We don't want to give him a big reaction as a reward. He's overly dramatic, quiet and moody. When he does get interested in something he gets angry easily, stands up and stomps into his room fists and teeth clenched and growling. He will not talk to us about what's bothering him and we've been working on "using our words when we feel frustrated, angry or sad...asking for help, talking about things, etc.
The only change is that his Aunt sent him a new tablet 4 months ago and he was beginning to become obsessed with playing games on it, becoming angry when it was time to stop playing, the battery died or he lost too many times in a game. I was concerned about screen time from the beginning and had a 1 hour limit set that got away from me for about 4 days. The thing is, he's had a tablet since he was 2 and a half that he used to pass time while running errands (15 minutes max). Same games and apps as no...no issues and no asking for the tablet. After his 4 day run he's been back on the 1 hour limit with no issues. He actually puts it down after 15 minutes or so so I break his time up over the entire day.
Maybe it's a phase...maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing...but he was tested at 2 years old and was found to be on a 4 and 5 year old level across the board. Mental illness runs deep on both sides of his family. I have anxiety issues but it's internal jitters and I always appear calm, his father is bipolar but removes himself when feeling moody and his uncle has very subtle OCD tendencies that don't affect our household. These are just the people he is in contact with daily. I just want to catch any issues before it's a problem for our LO down the road if there are any. Any suggestions?