Saturday, March 17, 2007


For some reason, son was reluctant to go to school last Friday. He had been off sick on the previous Tuesday but appeared to be dying to get back for Wednesday so that he does not miss his Science class.

Friday was, "Hmm, isn't it sad I do not have the same religion as my parents?"

And so we had a long discussion on how it is not up to us to dictate to him what religion he should embrace. Yes, we would very much like him to choose Christianity, but us Christians also know that God made free will and son has to decide for himself.

He then seemed happy enough to go to school.

Pick-up time I was told that he was so distressed in the pool he had to be taken out. Apparently he was hysterical and started "making animal noises" and continued to make these noises for a long time after this.

Got him home in a hurry and we tried to talk about his upset. Of course it was difficult to get anything that he does not want to tell out of him.

The issue seemed to be he felt he was 'rubbish' (again) as he could not do a forward somersault in the water. "I tried three times!"

After much cajoling I learned that he had done all sorts of wonderful things in the pool: all kinds of floating patterns, on the front and back, log rolls, etc. But he could not swim under water and stumbled at the somersault.

I myself cannot do the somersault, so I am not surprised. To have achieve so much and yet get distraught about not being able to do one thing perfectly after three tries sounds just like my son.

We persuaded each other to go to the public pool on Saturday to practice the 'roly-poly'. (I don't like going to the public pool as the changing facilities can be filthy sometimes.)

In the pool on Saturday he was no problem at all. He was relaxed, comfortable and enthusiastic. He kept trying his somersault and swimming under water. (Earlier we talked through the physics of getting into water and staying submerged.) I couldn't get him out of the water.

"OK, I've had enough. Let's go home now," I kept saying.

"No, I'm having so much fun!"

So it was till he needed to go to the toilet.

I wrote a long letter to the teacher to recount what happened at the pool, and since I was writing, decided to list the disappointments that my son had faced this year. They are not grievances, just events which I thought would help the teachers understand how his mind works.

We were told to meet with the teacher mid-week. Husband happened to have had a hospital check-up and so was able to attend the meeting.

We were told that son has an IQ of 144 and a reading age of 13 when tested last year. He is going on seven end of April.

I was gobsmacked. I knew he read well and I know he is highly intelligent, but I certainly did not expect these kinds of results.

Teaching him is like treading on eggshells all the time, we were told. He is very sensitive to sound, and hates disruptive children, ill-discipline, etc.

But both teacher and us agree that sometimes -- because he seems so grown up in some ways -- we tend to treat him as an adult. The teacher also agreed that perhaps she had been expecting much more from him than any other child.

So while a little improvement or effort by another boy would have warranted a reward, my son has been rewarded more on results, and is expected to go further than others.

I can imagine a little of how he feels when he is expected to cheer someone else on for making a tiny improvement in behaviour or in work when he himself had already far exceeded this milestone himself. But no matter how hard he tries, all he gets is yet another sticker in his homework book. There has been no public recognition of his good results, let alone his effort.

How does one get better than 100% at spelling every week, even when random tests are given without notice?

So we hope that things would improve as now the teachers are more aware of how he feels about the lack of recognition of his effort.

No comments: