Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Not So Special Side of Special

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Okay so I know it isn’t “appropriate” for me to say this but…my six-year-old child has mad athletic and intellectual skills. Let's be clear, though. There is plenty not to praise him for.

Instead of an annoying diatribe about his exploits, I'd like to take this opportunity to openly acknowledge his faults. As parents, perhaps we don't do this enough. Yah yah yah my kid's the best and the world revolves around him, but there are a few things he does that keep me from praising him morning, noon and night. These things keep me from sounding like a lifecoach on crack; from following him around to say "great eating!" and "awesome inputting of your picks for the football pool!" and "that chapter book you just wrote is the best I've ever read!" Yay! Barf.

I guess his faults start with the colic period he enjoyed which nearly forced my husband and I to quit our day jobs and become abortion clinic volunteers, and they range from his maddening habit of always wanting to negotiate every rule to his inability to fall asleep without hours of coaxing. He also seems to be quite obsessive-compulsive (but what do I expect from my child?) regarding video games (which I absolutely hate), keeping tabs on all professional sports' teams' statistics on multiple random pieces of paper strewn about the house, and correcting his younger brother's grammar.

The kid can beat me in field sports already (but not in the pool - ha!), but I make sure to foul him however necessary so that he never beats me twice in a row because another of his faults is his very extended victory laps that really piss me off. We don’t want his confidence getting out of control. After all, while I think he’s gifted NOW he may very well slow down as other kids catch up. Maybe he’s just more interested in school earlier than others, and maybe he’ll loose the love of scholastics and sports. Some kids just happen to peak at six. And when that happens we certainly don’t want to end up with a cocky Average Joe. (Remember him from High School?)

So, I admit it, I count my kid as gifted. But you can’t accuse me of treating him any different than any other punk I might be raising, and I’m much more prideful about that than about his abilities.

1 comment:

Anne Marie said...

now that's funny. and yah, lil' w is gifted.