Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20th

Well given the day of yesterday, it was with barely suppressed excitement that I woke to the day in which both of my children would be bundled off to vacation care for the day.  Ted was seeing a visiting band that gets everyone up for dancing and singing, while Harriet was walking down to Darling Harbour for laser skirmish and bowling.  Both of them were really excited about the day ahead and Ted strode confidently down to the school.  You can see that he also insisted on wearing his new school shoes as well.  

However after dropping off Harriet and watching the window cleaners scale the exterior wall, Ted refused to enter the school doors.  Flatly refused.  There was crying and plain old stubborn refusal and absolutely no interest in trying to talk about it or be consoled about his emotions or any interaction with me at all, which made it slightly tricky (and also made me look like a terrible mother if you were walking past!).

I finally made my way inside the double doors with him and once he sat down at an activity table with me he calmed right down and was happy to kiss me goodbye and continue making decorated paper people.  Excellent.


Because, just between you and me, I hadn't had a child-free day for a while.  When James' parents were here over Christmas we managed a whole weekend away, so I can't cry too poor.  But prior to that it has been some lean times in the free-time-for-Cass stakes.  Or maybe it just felt like that after yesterday.  No matter what, I had planned to go in for a movie that morning and the idea of it was too enticing to turn my back on.

And so I sauntered about, ordering a (disappointing) mocha, browsing in my favourite bookstore (and nabbing a book of interest for only $6), seeing a movie (Her - my review is also three letters long: Ugh), having a spicy soup for lunch (yum!) and then grabbing a slice of chiffon cake to scoff while reading in the backyard.  Ah.

While I was at home I took a scheduled phone call from the woman who assessed Ted last month.  I have been debating about whether to go into too many details about it here on the blog, but since it will no doubt become a bit of an issue in our family, I will share a few details.  He was assessed as having an IQ that puts him in a crazy high level.  When I was talking to the woman I mentioned something about 'likeminded friends' to which she literally produced a scoffing laugh to quieten me further and said "There is next to no chance that he has any likeminded friends.  The way he scored, he was off the chart etc.". 

The chat was to discuss the finer details of the report she wrote for us and we talked a lot about the upcoming issue of school and the need for curriculum compacting and other topics.  She scared the life out of me about what to expect from him in school and I must say that I'm sitting here with everything crossed that we get a specific teacher we've had in the past with Harriet who was incredibly dedicated. receptive and energetic. 

I was thinking that if we had a child who had learning issues at the other end of the spectrum, or a specific psychological issue of some kind, then I'm sure I would talk about it quite openly.  Giftedness is something that no-one wants to hear about and no-one wants to talk about, except for those parents out there stressed out about their children who are floundering psychologically as a result of frustration and anger and stress from not having their needs met in the environment where they spend so much time of their day.

To tell the truth I didn't even think he was gifted.  James and I had a $50 bet going on it.  Although now that I am aware of it I am starting to keep a low-level running tab on the topics we cover in a day.  Like this afternoon when we covered gases and the periodic table and after it was over I shook myself down and thought OH!  So that must be what it's about.  It may sound naive but honestly, it's just your child asking you questions, or your child reading a book - it's just that you are suddenly jolted into an awareness of the fact that the questions are a little different from other 4yr old questions and the books he's reading in the back of the car on the way to school are meant for ten year olds.

We are quite concerned about him in school mainly because there is no way he will be capable of containing or controlling or hiding his frustration and/or anger and/or boredom in the classroom in the manner that Harriet did.  Concerns about him being labeled are high.  Enter: parents as advocates.

Watch this space, I guess.


It was Monday night dinner so we all basked in the literal glow of those beautiful candles that Harriet made the other day.  Oh I failed to tell a wonderful little tale about them.  The day after she made them she called me into her room all worried: "Mama!  There are bees in my room!"  and there they were, buzzing and sitting on her candles!  It was so gorgeous and we stood there for a while just enjoying their presence.  I finally ushered them out of the window and we each took turns smelling them again.  Ah!  Delicious!  

The dinner you see here was a slapdash but delicious affair - mushrooms cooked in the oil from our favourite cheese (Meredith Dairy Goats Cheese oh be still my beating heart) on sourdough and a colourful array of vegetables.  

And after dinner we were 'entertained' (read: overwhelmed) by the children's rendition of some insane durmming, musical performance that involved Ted at the front on drums (singing in Tedanesu, his own language he has had going for a couple of years now), Harriet behind him (singing in English) and Mr No-one at the back (apparently he sings in French).  I filmed it but I'm not sure how wise it would be for me to upload it.  It's...errr....a little loud.

1 comment:

Gil Liane said...

Apparently, dad came to breakfast one morning before work, and I got up, sat down next to him and read him the morning paper. Considering I was 2 or 3 (I can't recall which) and no-one had even considered teaching me to read yet, that was a bit of a giveaway on the IQ thing.
The school I went to didn't believe in jumping grades, so I was told to just read the books in the library whenever I finished my work early. So by year three, I'd read every book in the primary school library, so I was told to "sit quietly" & not disturb the other children whenever I was bored. I would "sit quietly", for hours every day. I never really thought about it, until one day when Matt said to me, it's so weird how you go really still and just stare off into space when you're waiting for something, & you never get mad when people are late to meet you, you just sit so still, all mellow, but a bit like a statue, & I realised, that's what I had learnt from my school years- to sit still and zone out the passing of time(!). A strange form of meditation, I guess. So, I am glad to hear Ted will be learning more than how to "sit quietly", because it reall-y is not a fun way to pass your primary school years x