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My kids' brains...

Posted Sep 10 2012 9:08pm
I am constantly amazed at how my children think!

A Leap of Cognition

A few days before school started, we were cleaning out Sam's dresser drawers. (Who really needs 35 pairs of formerly white sneaker socks?) Sofia, ever so helpful, reached into a drawer, and pulled out something.

"Oh! Tallit!" she exclaimed.

And sure enough, it was a Tallit Katan, the small under-garment that Sam used to wear (in his "more" religious days back in first and second grade).

Now, I was thrilled enough that Sofia knew what a Tallit was. But later, I realized how much more of a cognitive leap that had been.

Your standard Tallit:

 A Tallit Katan
They don't really look very similar, do they? And consider that David's Tallit is cream colored with burgundy stripes, and mine is pink and fits like a cloak.

How did she recognize the basic similarity?!

I am amazed.

Also amazing is seeing how my sons do the same thing so differently from each other. The fifth grade Torah project at our school is a really big deal. Every week, the students - working with their parents - have to write a Summary and Commentary for two portions of the Torah, until eventually they have written for then entire Torah.

With Sam, it was challenging to get him to read the materials, since at that time he was still struggling with reading comprehension. His Summaries were short and tended to focus on just one part of the portion.

Well, I've started working with Micah. And what a difference! Micah's first summary was two full pages, typed! (Of course, that's way too long, and this evening we worked it down to three paragraphs).

It is fascinating to work through the material with each of them. They have such different ways of seeing things. Very specific, very unique.


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In other news, we tried Ballet Class this afternoon. Sofia was VERY excited, and actually got herself strapped into her car seat (which for some reason she had moved to the front; I made her move back again)




We went to the ballet studio around the corner from our house. At first, I thought things went great. She has been talking about ballet for a full year now, and was really excited. She watches the Bella Dancerella DVD constantly, and was showing off what she knows of the ballet positions.

I watched from the observation window, and after a while, I took a walk around the block.

And when I came back, it had all fallen apart.

The class had switched from ballet to tap, and Sofia totally lost interest. And the teacher did not try to keep her involved. When I returned, Sofia was off in a corner, playing with the mirror.

I stayed in the class for a while, trying to get Sofia to cooperate, but it was no use. The teacher, by that point, was just ignoring her even when she did get in line.

I ended up walking out with Sofia in the middle of the class.

I was so upset. It was one of those "Special Needs" moments that really feel like a punch in the gut.

But I turned it around, quickly. Instead of driving home, we drove straight to the other dance studio in town! I had tried going over earlier in the day but it wasn't open yet. This studio is larger, and I had been afraid of it; I was always the chunky, clutzy girl in ballet class, and all those lovely ballerinas really throw me off guard. But several of my friends' daughters (mostly girls Sam's age) have been taking lessons there for years, and love it.

So I took my daughter (still wearing her tutu) into the school. And had the most wonderful talk with the director.

Sofia will be taking a ballet (and tap, unless she does not respond to the tap) class with a very specific teacher and very specific assistant. The class is for 5 year olds, but developmentally that will make sense for Sofia.

And it meets on Saturday mornings at 9am. Sigh.

Which means 1. she will miss class once a month so she can go to her reading program, and 2. we'll be late for shul. But it's worth it.

The director said she has a very different philosophy than the other school. "Every child deserves to dance." I immediately fell in love.

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Ok, I can't tear up, because my eye hurts. It started hurting Friday, was worse Saturday (when I had to drive Sam out to Worcester for a bar mitzvah; it was nice to see so many friends at that shul!).

Sunday morning, I woke up looking like Quasimodo. My eye was completely swollen shut, and hurt like the dickens.

So off to the ER we went. Now I'm on antibiotics and hot compresses, and today I saw the ophthalmologist, who also prescribed steroid/antibiotic drops. Whew.
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