Church has been great for our family. We’re all loving going together, and the kids think it’s fantastic. I have things I want to say about it soon. But…
We’re setting Lev up for the therapist. I’m hoping that she’ll have suggestions for us, and that nothing will be … geez, what do I say here? Unfixable? I think he’s wonderful. But … he gets into trouble at school on a daily basis, he has no friends, he can’t let sentences go unfinished, he rushes through his work… The teacher told me I needed to work on his reading so that he’d be able to get through picture books at the first grade level while he was reading chapter books at home!
So, as I’m trying to explain all of this to the therapist we’re going to see first, I realize that the one thing I’m trying to get through is his ability to remember everything. Because how do I explain how frustrating that is? How do I explain how happy when I realized that wasn’t how Leni is? How much I wanted to kill my friends for promising to do something the following week, because my three-year-old would show up expecting that thing to happen. Of course they didn’t get it, because their child would forget about it within two minutes of it being promised. People would tell me that at the store they could put asked for things on a “wishlist” and prevent meltdowns. For me, it was just putting off the inevitable.
Four months ago there was a substitute who told Lev’s class he would bring in fruit by the foot for each kid if they behaved and finished their work (I know! I’m not super happy about this motivation style, but whatevs). They did. And I would hear about it every week. At least three times. He didn’t sound obsessive, just that he was being reminded of it somehow, the way I sometimes remember that I need to start the laundry while I’m at a friends house or grocery shopping.
And the teacher came back and Lev asked him about it. The teacher and students had no idea what he was talking about. I get the impression he needed to explain it for quite some time. You better believe that teacher brought in candy the next time he subbed. Thank goodness it happened, otherwise I’m pretty sure I’d hear about it for the entirety of the summer and next year.
And this was me. I still remember how I used to bug my aunt (Ah-nt, not Ant) for the $10 she promised me if I’d finish a puzzle she didn’t believe I could finish, but truly just to shut me up while she babysat.
And I don’t think it’s possible to truly explain how awful all this is. Especially because some kid stole his fruit-by-the-foot. And then two girls made fun of him for it the next Monday. And no one did anything until he threatened to punch them at recess. Because he wasn’t allowed to move from where he was. And I sort of get that. I lash out when cornered too.
But we need to help him. Because it’s hard enough to navigate getting older as it is, and he deserve a better map.