One More Try

This conversation took place a few years ago when The Max was about five years old

Max: (to a friend of mine) When are you going to have a baby?

Friend: Not sure, I don’t know if I am ever going to have kids.

Me: (to Max) That’s not something you ask people sweetheart, it’s personal.

Max: (to my friend)  You cannot hide your shame forever.


Max’s most recent birthday.

Ahh, the wisdom of a child in Kindergarten, it is unafraid.  Max is unafraid.  From the time he was mobile and jumping off the back of the living room couch to when he could hold up his hand and silence his pre-school class in order to gain their attention so he could make an announcement I have wondered why I was given such an amazing and outrageous son.  One time all he said  after all eyes were on him was,  “I would like for all of you to meet….MY NEW RUBBER BAND!” and he held up an the rubber band he’d swiped from my office.   His words were met with three and four year olds giddy over Max’s new trinket.  Now, Max astounds his grade school teachers with his verbal skills which they all admit are unlike any they have seen in such a small body.

“The kids don’t get his jokes.  I think he’s hilarious! …but…”

Golly, it’s the ever present ‘but’.  We recently had our fall conferences with his second grade teacher.  Bless her soul for taking on my son and all of his energy.  I always get THE SAME report from his teachers.

-Max is one of the best math students.
-Max is reading above grade level.
-Max is an on par writer, he could be better if he did not create each letter of all his words into a picture all it’s own.

His most referred to buts are talking non-stop and refusing to participate in classroom activities he does not enjoy.  He also has what have been described as, “outbursts” where he will hurt someones feelings.  I am told, by his current  teacher, that he is immediately repetitive for his words.  But forgiveness is a learned character quality, and most second graders cannot understand it fully.

Also, each place we live and each school and/or daycare he attends he is given a free pass of sorts being as he is the ‘new kid’.  I was the new kids for four years in a row  in school.  Unlike Max I was terrified of my father and his punishments so I would say I was on the shyer more reserved side as opposed to the acting out type of child.  Maybe I should become more scary.

So, from the pluses and minuses I see coming out of my son, I am trying to figure out how I can take this little guy and steer all that verbal ability to a place where people will see him as an effing amazing man someday.  As much as I fight it, he is going to be gone from me so soon and is nearly half-way through his childhood.  I’ve allowed all his schools to do the “special tests” they have requested to figure him out.  It was determined at age four he was not ADD, at six he was labeled “gifted and talented” and last week the experts decided he was not eligible for Special Ed.  (Thank you Jesus!…and duh.)  The most recent suggestion was (being as I refuse to drug him) : Max might benefit from seeing a family therapist for regular sessions where they can place him on a mini-couch and ask him about his feelings or whatever.

Y’know, maybe that would help.  But, I am trying one last thing before the shrinking begins.  I read an article. It may have been a biased one, but for sanity’s sake (and my fear of therapists) I am going to try it.  A boy, who was a bouncy guy and difficult to control who was always in trouble was put on a completely natural, organic diet.  His behavior improved and the teachers were relieved and all that mushy stuff.

I imagine I will have to wait until after the Halloween candy is devoured.  I guess I’ll have to help him with  the consuming.   He isn’t very fond of Jr. Mints or the candy with nuts anyhow.  Neither of us like coconut candy.  So,who wants the Almond Joys and Mounds?  Otherwise I just nibble the chocolate off the outsides and that’s kinda gross.

About kristiane

killing spiders with my laser eyes.
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2 Responses to One More Try

  1. Sarah says:

    Max is a wonderful and funny kid. Maybe schools should change for him!

    I miss him. When am I getting my letter?

  2. Bad Pants says:

    Wow, ok. So…first off, Max sounds exactly like my step-son. Pretty much to a tee. So much so, that your initial little play-by-play of his conversation could have been my boy word for word.

    Things I will tell you from my perspective (and every kid is different, so my insight is worth about one notch up from nil):

    Stimulants = BAD, anti-anxiety meds = LIFESAVER.

    Special Ed is a mixed blessing. Some places its the best way to get the services that he needs; and in some places its just an educational death sentence.

    My kid is in a mainstream classroom for the first time in two years, in a small school with a great teacher and a great student teacher. He’s doing marvelously by all accounts.

    Last year he was in a string of “focused behavior classrooms” with a string of different teachers, little actual attention, and an education process that was slightly less effective than watching paint dry and listening to Sesame Street in Finnish. Obviously, he did NOT do marvelous in such a situation. (although, all things being equal, he finished his grade level despite the educational limitations, so perhaps that should be accorded a significant amount of marvelous on it’s own).

    Kids get out of therapy roughly what other people dump into therapy. Until they’re old enough to both contribute to the discussion and actually consume the analysis, it’s just talk time on the couch with someone they may or may not actually trust enough to carry on a significant conversation with.

    From what I’ve seen, social hints just take longer for some kids. My kid isn’t “mean” as much as just socially unaware. Now, that’s certainly no excuse, and other little kids don’t care if he’s socially confused about what hurts feelings and what doesn’t…but I think that time, and consistent help understanding “what goes wrong” will eventually help him function consistently well with peers, even if he doesn’t always “get them”.

    All in all, I guess I’m just saying “you’re not alone” and “Max is going to be ok” (not that I’m implying he’s not OK now…everything’s a scale and a journey after all).

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