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There are a few fun things Simon has said or done that I haven’t the time or energy to fully flesh out. The annual KIP fundraiser was Saturday (for which I ran check-out and helped plan and for which Matt assembled and rehearsed with a band), I’m wrapping a seemingly endless freelance project, and both of things took place against a back-drop of illness and general household chaos. So I think I’ll just post in an abbreviated fashion and consider these glimpses of life with Simon:

  1. Simon has a new secret/make believe identity. When he’s not being Simon or Baby Kitten, he’s Burt Handsome, a striker for Sunderland who scores amazing goals. We know; we have to “watch this!” for what seems like hours while he kicks a ball or picks it up and shows us in super-slo-mo how it moved in the air.
  2. He might have just been responsible for the most boring show-and-tell session ever. Last Wednesday he brought his calculator (thanks Zadie!) to school to show everyone how it can tell you that 14 million + 14 million = 28 million. I asked if he was sure it was really a million that he plugged in, and he reassured me that he remembered all 6 zeros. Thank goodness for that, eh?
  3. He continues to look for numbers and patterns in everything. At his non-score-keeping soccer games, he can tell you the score, who scored when, and how many times he got kicked or fell down. (One goal for him, over 12 for his team, 3 kicks to the shins, and one spill last Saturday.) He also helpfully pointed out to Matt that he wore his new sandals one day, then his sneakers the next, then back to sandals, and then back to sneakers. “That’s a pattern!” he observed with glee.
  4. Last Monday was our second round at the dentist, and Simon was an absolute champ. He chatted about the planets again, this time also discussing Mars rovers, atmospheric layers and conditions, and the nature of gravity. But the absolute best part was when he told me, the dentist, and her assistant that “I can’t control my brain.” Thinking of a certain Ramones song, I winked at him and asked if he could control his fingers. At which point Simon sang “I Wanna Be Sedated” in its entirety. The assistant looked stunned; the dentist simply confused. I was simultaneously hysterical from laughter (how contextually appropriate!) and mortification (how age inappropriate!).
  5. Just tonight, Simon told me about Jillian chasing him on the playground and Anieya catching up to Jillian and tackling her. “Then something funny happened,” he told me. “Anieya called her ‘cutie-face’.” “Well she is a cutie face,” I said; “you all are.” “But who’s the cutiest face?” Simon wanted to know. “I don’t think there is a cutiest-face,” I answered. I wasn’t sure exactly what he was getting at, and we don’t discuss beauty or compare others that way around here. “Oh, I can tell you, it’s Anieya. Or maybe Caroline,” said Simon helpfully. Which makes me think he is indeed noticing if not responding to beauty, as these are two of the prettiest girls in the Fours.
  6. And finally, a lesson in biting off more than one can chew. Simon has finished reading a few super-beginner books and is eager to try something new. Last night, while Matt thought out loud looking for a new book, Simon suggested The Hobbit. He could barely listen to The Hobbit when Matt read it to him earlier this year, so it was ludicrous for him to consider reading it before, say, 2018. But he wanted to give it a go, and Matt decided that the first sentence or so was easy enough. So Simon dug in, tried his best, and got most of the first two sentences. Then, when we began the third sentence, his entire brain shut down and even words like “the” or “of” were indecipherable. It is fascinating to see exactly how exhausting reading can be when you are brand new to it. It’s equally fascinating, and more than a little disturbing, to see how upset Simon sometimes gets when his brain reaches the saturation/shut-down point.

4 Responses to “Glimpses”

  1. Amanda says:

    Happens on the other end of life too. When I’m tired I forget my nouns my students have to finish my sentences.

  2. goldsteinrita says:

    Looks to me as though in many ways Simon’s approach to learning will follow fairly closely the pattern set by his Mother and his Uncle Steve.

  3. Jessica says:

    “Simon’s approach to learning will follow fairly closely the pattern set by his Mother and his Uncle Steve.”

    Oy! Isn’t there some middle ground to be had between doing your Africa notebook at the last minute and getting Ds in middle school (I’m looking at you, Matt) and making yourself insane and anxious in the pursuit of academic perfection? I was hoping to find out—and I may yet—but early signs are not so promising I agree.

  4. Amanda says:

    Make sure he is allowed to try and fail. Often. I have so many students who have never failed at anything, and learning how to do it and bounce back is much easier at 5 or 6 than 20 something.

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