08 February, 2007

Some Knitting and Way Too Much Whining.

Hey, all you Gentle Readers! All three of ya :) I apologize for the lack of posts lately. Been feeling a little overwhelmed by life and underwhelmed by dealing with it. Plus DH had my laptop in his custody for a couple of days, studying for his promotion test.

Our promised "several inches of snow" fizzled out today, much to the disgust of young David, who says "I hate global warming."

In knitting, I picked up my lovely Wedgie a couple of evenings ago and am now into skein three of the Noro. I contemplated stopping at two skeins, which Vyvyan suggests, but I like to wrap a scarf around my neck a la Tom Baker's Doctor Who, so I'm going for crazy-long. It's looking great and I promise a pic on me soon. Camera is batteryless, and David has his camera at Cub Scouts tonight to photograph the small David's investiture (?). After Wedgie, I am going back to my Snowdrop Shawl to make a little progress, I think. So ends the knitting update. If you don't need to read a truckload of whining about how to make my child happy again, stop now!

Small David is ... not great. He's feeling angst-y, irritable, and gets upset very easily, and it seems to be a combination of all kinds of things.

Here's what I hate - when your kids are too old for you to be able to solve all their problems. Sigh. We've made some progress getting him to talk about his feelings, at least. All kinds of things are getting to him, and he's just not ever...happy. Not really for a couple of months now. I'm getting more and more concerned.

Tae Kwon Do was stressful - we found out that it is because he's gone up a belt and has a much more complex pattern that he can't memorize yet. Dadster talked to the instructor and he had a helper do lots more one-to-one work with him to get the pattern and moves down. I think that's going to be OK now.

Cubs has just started to become a "thing," too. David loved Beavers and the kids/leaders there. He's just moved up to the Cub pack and, frankly, it's more than a little Lord of the Flies. The leader is a very old woman, who's been doing it since her son, now in his forties, was a Cub Scout. She, and the other leaders, have no idea how to command the attention and respect of a group of little boys, and the kids in general make me REALLY happy David doesn't go to the school most of them attend. I attended a couple of sessions and found myself speaking up to say "Oi. Listen to the leader." DH is there tonight and will be watching, and talking to the District head who will be there, but I think the solution is to look for a better-run pack. There's only one little boy that David has bonded with there, anyhow, so we might be able to switch to a pack a bit further away if they have space. The other pack is more likely to have kids from David's school anyway, but they were oversubscribed when he joined Beavers last year.

School is now boring and a waste of time - he can't really articulate that one, but hasn't tried when he's not in the middle of being upset in the morning when it's time to get ready for school, so we'll have to chat again soon. I talked to his teachers this week to let them know he's feeling bored and frustrated and that I would try and find out more. They are watching him more closely. Because the classwork is too easy, he's not getting anything out of the day except his socializing, especially with his tablemate and buddy Sam, who is another really bright kid in his year.

However, I don't know what to suggest to enrich the work and add some interest to the topics. He likes the arty projects best. Those of you who know David have some idea just how bright he is, and his main teacher certainly knows his has stellar test scores, reads off the charts, and has an incredible vocabulary. However, he does what is expected of him and not more in school, and she doesn't push for anything different, since he was the youngest child in the room last year. The classroom is a combined Year 3/Year 4 room, with about 20 kids. That equates to second and third grades in the US. This year, at 8, he is in the middle of the age range so he's fitting in socially really well with both years. His slow and not-very-neat writing is the thing holding him back from really ripping with story writing, etc., and I keep trying to point this out to the teacher, but she's pleased enough with his writing in class, and I've seen samples. It's creative and funny, and very polished for a 7-8-year-old, etc., but he struggles to get it out on paper in time. Mathwise he does really well but if it were somehow more interesting, I think he'd leap far ahead. So school. That's an issue. I don't want to take him out and homeschool him, because he likes the kids so much and it's a great little school. But we need to find ways to challenge him within school before he hates it. I think homeschooling right here, right now, would be very isolating for him. But some days I wonder. 90% of what he knows he's taught himself through books, etc. That's what happens when you learn to read at 3. I'm struggling.

He doesn't like bedtime at all. We've tried several different ways of easing the transition or lengthening the awake time. In a nutshell, he doesn't like being alone in his room. It's a huge room, 15 by 15 feet, and he has a loft bed, and I think he feels lost and lonely in there. DH and I have been tossing around a couple of ideas to make the room more warm and fuzzy, among them turning the loft bed into a low bed (it's a bed that has three height settings; used to be highest height when he shared a bedroom with Lily in Nebraska, now it's middle height, and at low height you could put curtains or something around the bedposts and make it a hidey place.) The other idea is to swap rooms and put him in the Grandma room (guest room) which is much smaller, but there's really not room for all his bookshelves and toy shelves in there.

See? A very boring post, but it's all that's in my head right now. That, and all the stuff I need to do for Lily's preschool. Feeling overwhelmed by my To Do list, which I wouldn't be feeling if I weren't overwhelmed by David's general unhappiness.

Suggestions? Advice? Two cents' worth? Anyone?


Liz said...

I'm sorry to hear that things aren't going well. If I were him I'd like the idea of turning my bed into a fort-like place. As for school, he is definitely not the first bright kid not to go above and beyond in school, and he won't be the last. I don't have any really good advice, but I wish you all well.

Vyvyan said...

Wish things were going better for you. When my DS was around that age he had a loft-type bed and to combat any loneliness he had, we let him sleep with our Chihuahua. Still, at age 15, he doesn't go to bed without the dog. Me, can't even imagine sleeping with a dog on my bed but a cat's okay ;)

I hear excellant things about homeschooling so I wouldn't give up on that idea. There are always other ways/places for your son to socialize. My son was bullied at school and to this day has no drive to exceed although he definitely has the capacity. (We have a weird history with him so we take whatever we can get at this point...)

Susie said...

First of all... WOOHOO! on the knitting! Go Wedgie Go!
Now... I think D is in a rough stage right now. This age is when our kiddos go from being little kids to big kids. They start really branching out and becoming more independent and finding their niche. It's pre-pre-adolescence, if you will. LOL... L's going thru a hard time with the fact that she needs to be more self-motivated and responsible. She sees herself moving toward the "big kid" stuff, and she sees her little sisters cruising along in "little kid" mode, and she's jealous. She wants to read baby books, and scribble pictures, and have fridays off of school, and snack on goldfish crackers, and all that other little kid stuff. But at the same time she wants to go to her friends' birthday parties alone, and be allowed later bedtimes, and be included in the adult conversations around her... What's a kid to do?
Would you believe the other day she actually tried to talk us into SPOON FEEDING HER????? I was SO mad!
Anyway... I think D is in a similar problem. He wants to do the activities and study at his intellectual level and have friends to hang out with and all that other big kid stuff... but he also wants to cruise by on the easy road, and not sleep alone in a big, empty bedroom, and stay in the comfort zone that he's already carved out for himself.
I dont' really have good advice, I guess... just empathy.

Lynn said...

Ok, what the other Susie said. Billy is going thru something similar. The teacher he has is new, this is only her 2nd year and she doesnt motivate the class as much as she could. She's got a lot of creative ideas but there is a certain amt of respect that lacks in the class. When some kids are done quickly (billy isnt oneof them) he feels he needs to rush thru so that he can play with the rest of the class. We've finally convinced him that there is no rush and he needs to stay focused because his reading was suffering. Now Billy is no David, but he's a good reader unless its something that doesnt hold his attention. So he blows thru the questions and will get really easy ones wrong. *I* know he knows them but it frustrates me to see him get it wrong when I know he knows it.

And we are having the same issue with sleeping. (I"M SO glad to hear you are too). he doesnt want to sleep in his room at all. He was coming to bed with us or sleeping in Meghan's room with her. Now she only has a twin bed so we moved his bed in with hers and made that the sleeping room and his room the play room. Guess where he sleeps?? Yep, with meghan! He likes to have a warm body next to him. Plus we're having a rough time with the asthma.
So again, I agree with the other Susie, no advice necessarily, just empathy.