where wildly different is perfectly normal
The Force is strong with this one
The Force is strong with this one

The Force is strong with this one

For those of you following along at home, yes, I am slathering myself in sunscreen after the OHMYFREAKINGGOD aging photos I saw at the museum on Saturday. SPF 100, as a matter of fact. Face, neck, and upper chest. I may go broke buying sunscreen year-round, but I won’t be mistaken for a cow’s ass when I’m 70. Oh, hello there, Bessie, I wanted to ask you….AGH! Jen! It’s you! I thought…I think I’d better leave now…

In addition to the OHMYFREAKINGGOD aging photos at the exhibit, there was a cool brain waves thingamabob, similar to this Star Wars one, but for two people. Each person puts on a headband-like thing, and the object is to get the ball in the middle of the lane to the other person’s side using brain waves (look, dude, I don’t get it. There’s obviously science going on there somewhere, it’s in a science museum, but don’t ask me to explain the damned thing). I sat down with A, we got our headbands on, and he frakking smoked me. Three times. The docent came over, laughing, and said she had never seen one person whip another like that before.

And that, my friends, is what I deal with every.single.day. A has a force about him that defies description. Some people call it “strong-willed,” but it’s more nuanced than that. It’s not stubborn for the sake of being stubborn, and it’s not defiant, it’s just…his will is so determined. Again, defies description. We started that brain waves thing, and I didn’t stand a chance. The ball didn’t even hesitate, it just whipped to my side. I was stunned. C’mon, the docent couldn’t believe it, and she stands there and watches people do it! When it’s something he wants, get out of his way. When you’re making him do something he doesn’t want to do, duck. I get nauseous when I think about his upcoming teen years, when I can’t just pick him up and haul him off when he’s out of control.

This is what is worries me about homeschooling. While I know it would probably be best for him, I don’t know if it’s best for me or the family as a whole. I may have found a wonderful private school, but my money tree is dormant right now, and jobs are scarce.  The charter school we want is in the process of appealing the school board’s denial to the state, so we’re in a holding pattern.

The Force is strong in this one. It’ll serve him well as an adult. It’s the remainder of childhood that I’m worried about.


  1. SPF 100? I didn’t even know they had that.

    I think it’s called Noetic Science. Just educated myself through Dan Brown’s book about it. I was like “No way, he is totally making this up.” But he wasn’t. Wild.

  2. So A did well on the ball thing?? That’s great! Have you heard of neurofeedback? It sounds like you were doing a very basic neurofeedback activity. It’s supposed to be a really great therapy for kids with ADHD and attention issues. It basically forces their concentration using a reward system (concentrate, and the ball will move). I’ve heard they sell a toy now that is very similar to what you described. It may be worth the investment to help A “train his brain” to focus. Considering he’s so good at the activity already, you may even have a very willing participant!

    I don’t envy you in your schooling issues. I am seeing my future watching you figure this out, and I’m not looking forward to it.

    I can’t believe you’re even considering homeschooling. I know E-Niner and I would be at odds with each other within the first five minutes. It would NOT make for a happy mommy or child.

  3. Are you sure that our children weren’t separated somehow? I totally get that defiance thing. We once had a screaming blowout because he wouldn’t recopy five math problems. Not redo, just recopy. It was mindblowing. And then the next day, he just recopies them, no problem. And then has the nerve to ask me what the big deal was about it. Yes, he did continue to live at that point.

    Only a few more days….

    Hey, how long is that exhibit going to be there? Or is that part of the permanent collection?

  4. ella

    If you end up going the private school route, do purchase the tuition insurance, if they offer it (and they probably do). You will most likely be on the hook for the entire tuition amount even if you have to withdraw for whatever reason, i.e., wrong fit, moving, etc…. With the insurance, it will pay a portion of whatever remains so you’re not stuck with the entire bill if it doesn’t work out.

    Yes, mine is the exact same way. Once he decides he is going to master something, get out of his way as he can be one determined guy. Now, if someone else wants him to master it, well… that one is a bit more tricky – somedays no problem, other days you would swear you were asking for his left arm. I always say that the very things that will make them successful adults are the very same things that drive us nuts.

  5. corrie

    I just left an IEP meeting. Mine is twice exceptional, although we can’t convince the school. They agree he’s in the superior range, but they don’t provide anything for that. And because his “relative weakness in writing” is still average to high average, he’s not learning disabled either. (They like to ignore the two standard deviations between not only his IQ scores but his academic accomplishments too.

    I know I can pay a tutor to teach him the stills he needs to write and then he’ll have superior scores there too…his “content” writing scores are already there…not his mechanics.

    They also agree that he’s got at least three or four legally defined disabilities. They don’t agree it impacts his education.

    And when we ask for them to let up on the homework so we can get him tutoring in the areas of his weakness, they lecture us about withholding preferred activities until he completes homework.

    It goes back to what you said above. He’s going to do what he’s going to do and not do what he’s not going to do. And he’s smart enough to know what those are.

  6. Here’s an example of your possible future Jen. Say there’s this gifted boy, 11, who’s class is doing a timed narrative writing assignment (Why yes, it IS practice for standardized testing how did you know?) that lasts for 55 minutes. This little boy can’t think of anything to write given the non-specific prompt afforded to the class. So he writes not. one. word. The entire 55 minutes. He just sits there. That’s what you call a classic case of passive aggressive. That is my world too.

Whaddya think?

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