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Posts Tagged ‘gifted parenting’

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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Anyone else get these?

Not the whole – ‘holy smoke my kid will be home 24/7 for the next 3 months’ blues. What I am talking about is the feeling you get as the parent of a gifted child when you look back on the past academic year – not unlike most parents do – but rather instead of feeling like there was growth for your child –  having the sinking feeling that yet another year went past and you are still no closer to seeing him challenged appropriately – despite your best efforts and intentions.

{{{SIGH}}}

This was by far – a much better year than last. Hands down. However, I started the year with such optimism and hope. Now – I feel like a stretched out balloon. Deflated. And devoid of that puffed up feeling that I had 9 months ago.

We are trying to look at the positives…

He was much more secure socially. He has actually connected with his classmates. He is building friendships – not acquaintances. He LIKES his school. He likes his teachers. For this we are extremely grateful.

For the most part, he did not complain about going to school and sometimes was even eager to go. (HUGE improvement.)

Despite the fact that he did not ‘qualify’ for the ‘gifted’ program. (Damn CogAT.) The gifted coordinator still made time for him the last trimester and a half. She worked with him on a Greek Mythology Family Tree which he presented to his class at the end of the year. (He was also told by several of his cluster-mates that they were jealous and wished they could go and work on Greek Myths.)

Math was somewhat accelerated. This was good, but we still have a ways to go there. Hoping for 5th grade math next year.

We spoke with the folks in Denver. We have made a ‘plan’ and are trying to execute it. The next step is speaking with the Principal. We will do this in a few weeks.

I just feel like I climbed a mountain – only to get to the summit through the clouds and realize that I am facing yet another climb and this one has no end in sight either.

I just want to have ‘fun’ and blow it all off. However, we have work to do. Whatever ‘label’ you want to give EE’s difficulties, we have to ‘deal’. We have to help him find ways to ‘cope and compensate’. I am not an educator. I am not an OT. I am not anything but a mom on a mission and I am afraid that may not be ‘enough’. What to do?

So while we are prepping for camps and play dates, we are also devising a ‘summer home school curriculum’ to make up for the areas that he did not see any growth in this year. We are looking at ways to make rote memorization easier – perhaps through visualization? He is aware. He is not pleased, but he has finally realized that I am not ‘giving in’. I will do my best to make it fun. I will do my best not to ‘overwhelm”. I will do my very best to reward effort and accomplishment.

I will also probably consume copious amounts of alcohol and ice cream 🙂

Can you relate? Do you want to ram your head against the wall? Or perhaps roll over and pretend that the alarm is not going off – just be lazy?

Because remember – “What does she have to worry about? Her kid is gifted.” LMFAO!!!!!

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So it has been some time since either Ecemom or I have written. I think that we have both been so immersed in daily chaos life that we have neglected this poor blog. {sigh} That is not to say that we have not thought of it, it is just that there have been more pressing matters…some pertain to our wonderful children and some do not. Also, the dilemma – what shall we write about? We want to focus on ‘giftedness’ and how it is afflicting affecting our families, but is the approach more personal or more clinical? Do we stick to the Dobrowski elements only or share more? What to write? What to write? So in an effort to move forward, I think that we write about whatever the ‘issue du jour’ happens to be.

So what has been happening in our little world? All the ‘normal’ life stuff. Birthday parties. Work. Volunteering. Sickness. Housekeeping. And then there is the ‘covert’ side of our lives. LOL! Yeah, right. Covert? Who are we kidding? It is only covert as much as people on the outside looking in don’t get it. I will share a perfect example. (And I am sure Ecemom will share more as she finds the time. You do know that she is superwoman – right? Mom to 2 very precocious children, wife to a ‘touched’ hubby, teacher by day, college professor by night and an awesome friend. Whew, I am exhausted just typing all that…think how she feels? Did I mention that her muffins don’t sleep??)

On to the story/example…

So EE’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago. It was a wonderful day. We had a spectacular (if I may say so myself) ‘kid’ party based on one of his favorite books. It was a smashing success. Pulled off with a little LOT of help from friends and Awesome A (AA) {She is Ecemom’s nanny and former student and the word AWESOME as a descriptor just doesn’t quite do her justice, but it is the best I’ve got for now.} and her sister. Since I am a glutton for punishment wanted to get the whole party thing over with, we followed the ‘friend’ party with a small ‘family’ celebration. It was small by my family’s standards, but I have to say infinitely more enjoyable. But I digress…

Since Ecemom (and her clan) are like family, they joined us for the festivities. DD was so adorable with her ringlets. She enchanted the entire crowd with her cuteness. Even my BIL who is rarely seen smiling in public had no choice but to grin at her. She was her normal bouncy little self. And when I say ‘bouncy’ – I mean bouncy. The. girl. does. not. sit. still. EVER. To us, this is not a big deal, we are ‘kid’ friendly and more to the point – very accustomed to DD and her activity level (Can you say psycho-motor overexcitability?). I dare say that Little Miss enjoyed the party more that the birthday boy himself.

So what is the point, here? Ecemom looked exhausted when she walked in. Now, this was a different kind of exhausted. A different level. Not physically exhausted. She looked emotionally exhausted. After a few minutes – once DD and SS were situated (read – playing with EE and his cousins), she relaxed. They had been at a baptism/birthday event before arriving at the house of havoc our home. She had not been looking forward to attending this earlier event because she knew it would be a ‘challenge’ to keep DD somewhat contained during church and then at the restaurant afterward. However, she thought that with a little help from her parents and sister that it would be ‘okay’. Now any mom worth her salt knows that a restaurant is not a fun place for a kid….particularly an active kid. Ecemom avoids taking DD out because she knows that it is physically impossible for her to be still that long. However, there was no avoiding this. It was an obligatory appearance. This is not to say that she didn’t want to share in the joy of the day – I think she just knew that it was going to be a ‘challenge’.

And unfortunately for her – it was. DD was in constant motion. No amount of bribery or cajoling was going to change her desire/need to move. So they stayed as long as they could and then used our party as an excuse to get the hell out of there leave. However, before leaving, Ecemom noticed 3 little girls. They were all dressed similarly. All sitting quietly and calmly. In a word – ‘angels’. Knowing Ecemom, I can only imagine what was going through her head. One thing that I am guessing is that she was probably a little jealous. A little envious of the fact that this other mother got the opportunity to sit still for a time. Perhaps {gasp} even enjoy a little adult conversation. Does this woman even realize how wonderful this moment of ‘normalcy’ would be for the parent of a gifted child (with overexcitablities) to experience? Does she know that when we leave our houses with our muffins that we never know what to expect?

  • If a car backfires, is my child going to dissolve into a heap or completely shut down because he hates loud noises to the point of agony?
  • Yes, you have to wear those shoes! You can not wear gym shoes with a suit – it is just not acceptable. And yes, I do realize that you are going to whine and probably work yourself up into a tearful mess because the ‘seam’ on some article of clothing is ‘rubbing’ you.
  • No sweetheart,  the hosts of the party did not realize that this week you have decided that the texture of anything fried will send you into shock the moment it touches your lips. He or she just assumes that all kids like chicken nuggets. And I am sorry that my meal has ‘slimy’ gravy all over it. Have some bread, okay? I will see if there is some pasta somewhere.
  • I completely understand that the music of the organ and violin combined with the vivid stream of colored light through the stained glass window were so beautiful that you just could not find the right words to describe it and thus, there were tears streaming down your little face at Aunt Suzy’s wedding. It had nothing to do with the fact that you were nervous about being a ring bearer or flower girl. And by the way, you really wish all the well intentioned people would’ve  just left you alone so that you could ponder the magnificence of the world in peace.
  • No dear, I do not know if God is a man or woman. And no, I do not think that your teacher is going to know or care to debate this at preschool. Nor do I think your classmates are going to understand it when you tell them that the Earth is just a fragile and temporary holding place for our spirits.

No – this woman has no clue. Most people have no clue. Most people – even if we explained it – would think we were nuts. They would simply turn away and make a judgment. Heck, even our own parents and siblings don’t get it. They just assume we need parenting classes or to be more heavy handed with our kids.

So what happened at said party? Ecemom in her admiration of these young ladies – actually took the time to compliment the mother on her daughters’ exemplary behavior. What was her response? Well it was not a polite ‘Thank you.’  This woman’s response to my very tired friend was this….

Well, in our house we have rules.”

Seriously! Really? Did you really just say that???? How rude. I think that in that moment, I probably would have decked her. Cried. Or maybe both. How dare you judge my friend and her child(ren). Who died and left you the queen of proper parenting? Why could you not just politely smile and say,  “Thank you, very much.” And kept your nasty judgments to yourself. Because Mrs. Mother-of-3-angels you don’t have a flipping clue! Instead of being polite, you took the opportunity to kick my friend when she was already way down. Thanks so much. Witch!

So friends, this is where the blog comes in. Because in all seriousness, we could not make this stuff up – even if we had the energy to try. We also know that we are not alone in this world. Luckily, Ecemom was able to find refuge at EE’s party. A place where she and her kids were accepted and loved for who they are and NOT what others think they should be. Not everyone is as lucky as we are. We have built in support 2 houses and 1 text message away. This is why we started this blog. This is why we share our slices of life, because no matter how rude the outside world is, everyone needs a place a refuge. Everyone needs validation. Everyone who is struggling needs to know that they are not alone. There are others who walk amongst the masses that feel your pain and share your joys. We just can’t always do so in ‘public’. Please feel free to ‘share’ here.

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