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Dear Nintendo…

Dear Nintendo,

I find the creation of the Poke-walker to be an ingenious idea. (For those not ‘lucky’ {insert sarcasm here} enough to have a Pokemon obsessed child…A poke-walker is a pedometer type gadget. The gist is that kids wear it and score points for the activity they log on the poke-walker. These points can be transferred back to the DS game.) Truly a great idea to get our video game obsessed children moving more.

However, EE has decided that attaching said device to the dog’s collar is a much more efficient way to quickly rack up points than actually wearing the thing himself. This was especially brilliant as our dog never. ever. sits. still. for longer than 30 seconds.

*****

Dear PTO Bitches Women,

I don’t have time for your petty bullshit games. The damn school year hasn’t even started and you women have already begun to make my life a living hell. Remind me again why I decided being on the Executive Board was a good idea? Oh yeah, it was to help my kid’s school and maybe eliminate some of the cliques. So far – not so good.

****

Dear Bankrupt Homebuilder,

Thanks for nothing. If one more damn thing breaks in this house I am going to go ballistic. The nice mold circle on my dining room ceiling is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Really? How hard is it to properly seal a shower drain? Must be incredibly hard since we are the 4th house in a one block radius to suffer the same said ‘mold circle’.

****

Dear Prospective Employers,

I do realize that I do not have a degree. However, completely shit canning tossing my resume into the recycle bin without even considering me as a candidate sucks is not cool. It is not like the positions I am applying for are ‘Rocket Science”. Seriously. I just need a decent part-time job that is a little more stimulating than being a Wal-mart greeter. I don’t think that is so much to ask for. If you had taken the time to read my resume and accompanying cover letter you would know that I have  crazy mad superior technology skills. I was an IT Rock Star before birthing my child.

****

Dear Husband,

I am really trying. I am applying for every position under the sun. Apparently no one is impressed with me or my awesome tech skills except you (and I am  guessing even that is debatable right now. SIGH.)It is also not my fault that grocery prices are skyrocketing and the value of our home – well…it can’t get much worse could it?

****

Dear Clutter and Disorganization,

Get the FUCK out of my home. I can not deal with you anymore. I realize that it was I who invited you in, but you are no longer welcome. Leave and send your nemesis cleanliness to help rectify your aftermath.

****

Dear Summer,

You are so fun, but like the bad boys of my past, you coerce me into doing things that I know that I shouldn’t. You are a bad influence on my schedule and organization. I almost wish you were over so that I could get my shit stuff together.

****

Dear School District,

Please. Pretty Please. With. Sugar. On. Top. Place my child in the cluster classroom and admit him to the Language Arts gifted program. He really needs and deserves this. I am tired and really hate having to fight for everything. Could you please just do this for me? After all – I am enduring the crazy PTO bitches for you in return!

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Mother,

Stay away. I am serious. I do not need your crazy ass in my life. I have the PTO bitches now. Your daily doses of insanity and constant reminders of what an awful, selfish person I am are no longer needed. Just sayin’.

****

Dear Karma,

Stop pissing in my Cheerios. Go and pick on someone else for a while. I am finished. You have beat me down. I am not a Rock Star and I can not possibly handle anymore drama.

****

Dear Jen at LAC and Casey at Raising Smart Girls,

Thanks so much for writing. You give ECEmom and I more comfort than you know. We know we are not alone and that there are other stressed out moms who feel our pain.

****

Dear Blog,

Thanks for letting me vent. I promise that I will be a better writer in the weeks to come. Summer has corrupted me. I will find the time to write more meaningful and well written posts very soon.

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Too busy parenting to write at the present time, but read a fascinating article in Newsweek on the Creativity Crisis in our country. I shall post on that soon. In the meantime, I am chauffeuring EE to and from Robotics camp. Which he is loving and I am trying to find creative ways to spend the 7 hours he is there without using my credit card in the process.

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Nope. We are not. It has just been too damn busy around here – for a myriad of reasons – most good, but some – not so much. I am sneaking in a quick post so that all our friends in the blogosphere do not think that our children finally did in fact – send us to the loony bin.

For starters. the hubbies are off in Gettysburg for a LONG weekend. Doing what you ask? Ghost hunting. That leaves 2 moms and 3 very gifted children with major OEs. We have officially been outnumbered. Not only that, but my cherub is  devouring protein at an astounding rate. He has eaten more chicken breast this month than I think I have eaten all year. At first I thought it was a growth spurt, but then in talking with Ecemom about something completely unrelated, I realized that the boy has been running non-stop since the warm weather finally arrived here in Northern IL. He is needing the extra energy stores and when he has too much sugar – oh my – the sass that comes from his mouth is ‘teenage’ in characteristic. (He is also experimenting with humor and sarcasm, but he hasn’t quite gotten when it is appropriate to use this with his ‘cranky’ mother.)

There are family issues (UGH), work issues, school issues, home projects, getting to know the new neighbors, more family issues (You can pick your nose, but….), and last but certainly not least – summer fun to be had. You see when the frozen tundra finally thaws, we only have 3 very short months to enjoy the weather (and Ecemom’s free time) – so of course we are ceasing this opportunity.

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Camp Invention ended yesterday. EE was sad. He loves Camp Invention. I love his enthusiasm. {SS also attended his first ‘camp’. I think Ecemom is going to blog on his experience. (It was a huge developmental step for him.)} Seeing EE’s face light up with his discoveries makes it all so worth it. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with in July during his Leapfrog Robotics class.

Ecemom and I are contemplating starting a parent affiliate to IAGC for our area. The state of Illinois is a financial cluster *&^% and we fear that if we do not organize ourselves quickly, we may lose what little gifted programming that we currently have in our district. We have been informally networking with other parents, but it may be time to get ‘serious’.

We re-scheduled our meeting with the principal and gifted coordinator until August. This was not by choice but more because of scheduling conflicts. However, it does give me more time to prepare.

I am trying to get some ‘home schooling’ in.  We are working on our Times Tales and it seems to be ‘sinking in’.  It is a mnemonic system for memorizing multiplication facts.  YAY!!! He is reading 60 minutes most days. We are trying very hard to get those Harry Potter books finished. Writing still remains the Achilles heel. He has done some but I need to really find some good exercises for him. Oh, how I wish there were more hours in the day.

So we are hopeful to get some more writing done here. Lord knows these children give us enough material.

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Tonight my dear friend and I went to a OE workshop given by our school district. In a room filled with maybe 15 people – I thought to myself, this is such an unrecognized aspect of education and “caring” for our children but SO important! We know the importance as we live the meltdowns, the over reactions, etc.

I took away a few things on the subject that I was compelled to share immediately with my husband upon coming home from the workshop and now I will share with you.

1. Don’t ignore your child’s OE’s as if they don’t exist – respect them enough as people to respond to their over response.

2. You are not able to “change” your children (or your spouse) – they are who they are. They are MORE EXTREME

3. Ask yourself during a OE moment – “What does it matter?” or “Does it really hurt anyone?” My son does not like the feel of paint on his hands – does it matter that I will not be getting a painted picture from him in school – no – there are so many other areas he expresses creativity.

4. “RISK” – this was my favorite part of the workshop tonight. The word came up in a dual context. The word was used in a gifted group as a vocabulary word that many children were not familiar with; the word is also (as I learned tonight) something so many of our overexcitable kids have reactions to because they are afraid of it. RISK – to try something new and possibly fail. To a perfectionist ( a trait very common among gifted children) this is a scarey aspect. I liked this aspect so much because of how I left my house tonight for the workshop. My 4-year-old son was on the computer doing a math game (adding subtracting) and when things got “hard” for him, he shut off the program. My last words to him before leaving tonight were ” it’s OK not to get the correct answer – that’s how you learn.”

Before going to the workshop my co-editor and I enjoyed a quite child free dinner – talking about our children. I shared a story of how my son asked what selfish ment today. I used examples of him in our family to define the word for him. The day came full circle for me tonight when listening to te OE workshop and the items mentioned above. I leave with you this; that of which I discovered tonight – Don’t be selfish when it comes to parenting your OE child. It might not make sense to us or fit into “our” plan, but respect their sensitivities enough to not ignore them and wish they (the OE’s) didn’t exist. Tonight I appreciate my child’s OE’s and all the “more” he and she have to offer. (Tomorrow might be another story 🙂

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Inspired

This week has been one of those emotional roller coaster types for me. Too many things up in the air. I feel that in essence, I’ve thrown a bunch of plates in the air and I am randomly shooting – hoping to hit one or two instead of targeting in on one of those plates and hitting it with certainty. I need to work on that. I need to get a few things (at the risk of sounding punny) off my plate.

However, in the midst of all this chaos, came a few moments of clarity and they all seemed to center around writing this blog. Ecemom and I are writing here in the hopes of  making connections with people who share this world of  ‘giftedness’ and all that comes with it – good and bad. It was one of our goals. And we are. This week we made the virtual acquaintance of Casey at Raising Smart Girls. Casey is one smart girl herself  and writes several blogs. (I am just beginning to scratch the surface there, but I am amazed by her and her family’s story.) I am inspired by her writing and the compassion that she shows to others. She exhibits a selfless willingness to help others. Her spirit and empathy come through in her posts and comments. I feel renewed by the sense of camaraderie that this blog is providing in our lives and can only hope that we are inspiring and helping others in return.

In a week where I am searching for answers (and I am sure that I am not alone in this thinking) – Is it really worth it? What can I simplify? What brings me joy? More importantly, what doesn’t? What do I need to change to be closer to balance? I have found at least one ‘plate’ to hit. So in a world where I feel that all too often the simplest acts of kindness are taken for granted I want to say ‘thank you’. Thanks Casey. Thanks Ecemom. Thanks to Jen at Laughing at Chaos. I especially want to say thank you to my DH. Thank you for your support. Thanks for ‘getting it’ in a world where a lot of people don’t. Thanks for giving me a target to hit. Thank you for inspiring me on a daily basis.

Now onto making more balance and less chaos…

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Putting children to bed in general is not always an easy task, but putting a child to bed that is gifted with overexcitabilities is at times an impossible task. Now try putting two of them to bed – UGH!!!

When my son was one, I literally hated and dreaded bed time. I so enjoyed our day time together, but as night approached I hated what I was in store for. I found myself saying “no” to many social invitations, with the knowledge that 3-4hours of uninterrupted sleep might be the best I could hope for. I wish I knew then what I know have learned about these little brains that don’t always shut off.

I think I finally stumped my sons brain. You see that is the trick to getting one to bed whose brain doesn’t shut off. Ater years of telling him “time to turn your brain off” after hours in bed of “what if ” questions and mathematic problems in his little preschool head…I figured it out with the help of a song and a book. “The Ants go Marching “- it’s a great book with the theme of the old traditional song. Howev er this book has each ant multiplied on each page. Yes we had to count everyone on every page. This struck a nerve in his little 4 year old brain and we love multiplication. He asked on night how I know my facts so well. I said you memorize them. So I asked if he would like to hear them. Big shocker… he said yes. So I began going through the multiplication tables and by the time I got to the 9’s he said “you gotta stop, I am so tired.” I layed next to him in his bed, rubbing his back and reveling in my moment of stumping and exhausting his brain to sleep.

Now the little lady in our life, as I sit here and type now, was put to bed about an hour ago. She has since recited (word for word) 4 separate children’s books. She is 2 (newly) and just recited Brown Bear, Baby Bear, Bear Hunt and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I have yet to stump her brain. Suggetsion s welcome!!!

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Okay … Life has been a little hectic. Surprise! (Not!) However, we will get back to writing soon. In the meantime, in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday this week, I’d like to share Mary Beth Northrup’s hilarious poem. Enjoy!

If Dr. Seuss had a gifted child…

by Mary Beth Northrup

Dear Mom-I-am, dear Mom-I-am, we have a problem, Mom-I-am.
Your son won’t do what he must do. He drives me crazy, yes it’s true!
He will stall and squirm and hum, and leave all of his work undone.
He dreams and will not pay attention, have you considered medication?

With other kids he does not play, he is alone much of the day.
Something does not seem quite right, because I know he must be bright.
He seems to learn, despite the rest, but the work is not his best.
He is disruptive, yes it’s true. He just won’t do what he must do!

Yes, teacher, I can really see, how frustrating all this must be,
A child who does not meet the norm, a child whose mold won’t fit the form.
I’ve had him tested on WISC-III, by your approved test agency.
He scores far higher than the mean, there’s more to this that can be seen.

So help us, help us find the way, to teach this child best if we may.
He is not like the rest you see, he acts and thinks far differently.
We need another way to teach him, another way to finally reach him.
Not the normal thing you do, but something altogether new!

What! Something new – go bar the door! We’ve not done it that way before!
If we do this thing for you, then all the rest will want it too!
Change our ways, that can’t be done. Same for all, not changed for some.
All children are gifted, yes it’s true! Just MAKE him do what he must do!

Please, please, teacher, hear me through. The laws say you must help us, too.
His needs are different than the rest, we CAN help him to do his best.
We can make this easy too, it will not be more work for you.
This can work out, you will see. Try it, try it, please, for me?

All right, all right, if I must. I still maintain this is not just.
But first there is red tape you see, tests and checks and IEP.
And after weeks and months of proving, finally we can begin moving.
Then I’ll try it and we’ll see, if this method is the key.

Hey, I see something, yes I do! We have found something he will do!
No more fiddle, squirm and hum, no more worksheets left undone.
He’s zipping through, he’s learning fast, he’s doing his best work at last.
Why did I put up a fight? I guess dear Mom, that you were right.

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