Thursday, November 06, 2008

nope, not me

I'm not blogging about the US election, since every last personal blogger I read has already written about it. For once, the shoe is on the other foot, and I am secretly full of glee about it. See, I know that every time I blog about politics, you all roll your eyes and wonder, "What the hell is she talking about now?" and "Not again, can't she just talk about her vagina like the rest of us do?"

So about my vagina....

No vajayjays here. Move along now.

*Chuckle at own joke*

Got that out of my system, now can I just say that this helmet business is no fun? My darling babies' ears are uneven and his head slants forward slightly and there is a dent in the back. I know because many measurements and pictures were taken, and then a very nice Orthotics person at Sick Kids explained to my incredulous husband that it was a moderate dent, (as opposed to mild or severe) but definitely there and that Julius would look like this for life if we didn't do it, and that he would never properly fit bicycle helmets or hockey helmets without extra padding and fitting, and that yes it was cosmetic, but it is so noticeable that it would not be covered up by hair.

Now picture me and the nanny sitting in the corner looking at each other in horror because we can't believe that could happen to OUR Julius, and we can't believe the grilling that Mr.Cotta is giving to the guy, like somehow Ortho's in it for the profit and is running around sticking helmets on perfectly good heads just to make a quick buck. Gah.....not that I want a helmet either, but once the guy confirmed that the aggressive head positioning we were engaged in was doing nothing, *weeps* I decided to just say do it. And in the end, so did Mr.C.

So what if we have to spend the next 6 months hidden indoors praying that no one ever looks funny at us. Or points their fingers at us. Or laughs at us. Or makes my mother bear instincts come out. Cause I'm bad like that. I'm the woman with the tire iron in her purse who goes nuclear if someone looks mean at her kid. Sigh....not cool. *Must control self*

Oh, and about my last posts---after much researching, and talking to a few people IRL I have discovered that when the word "gifted" comes up many many many people begin to act like assholes and apparently the advice I'm supposed to follow is to never talk about it IRL, but instead only on firewalled passworded forums so that random trolls do not call me a grasping/boasting/stage/managing/faker/elitist/pushy mother. (Yes, some people actually say that mean shit!)

But since I'm already the adoptee who talks not so nicely about adoption, and the infertile who talks about vaginas, and the grieving mama who talks about dead babies, and the pro-choice woman who aborted a wanted & loved but dying child, and the crazy hyper chick with ADD who gladly takes speed and tells the world that ritalin rocks and trolls everywhere haven't kicked my ass off the net just yet---oh fuck it, I may as well talk about this here too.

Specially since my real life friends are having funny reactions, and God do I need to vent.

One lady--lovely kind, encouraging.

Next one--helpful, kind of vague, then started telling me how that's the new "in" thing, and was this a new trend? Is that why I "did it?" I'm like--"Did what? Huh?"

Another---jealous beyond description and so desperate to compare numbers against her own kid and herself, that she started to breathe funny. Then starts to tell me how she knows EVERYTHING about gifted kids and everyone in her family is gifted and they are all experts and I must do it all HER way and this is the perfect school, not the one we are in. Froth is forming at the corners of her mouth....I back slowly away.....

An education professional---tells me I should give up on the entire system and homeschool. Commence eyerolling. I would suck at that. I know me well enough to know that for sure!

For me, it's sort of like I thought my kid was a duck, a nice little duck, and then one day I take him to a Doctor and he turns out to be a completely different animal like an octopus, but everyone around me is saying, hey great, he's like a swan! But he isn't a swan, he's an octopus.

Meanwhile, I have no books and no training on how to raise an octopus.

Like that list of things I did that are not PC to talk about---I mostly wrote that because I wanted you all to laugh, and to know that I'm not the crazy pushy mom, and no one has to be. My kids do some sports at school, but not rep hockey or competitive swimming or anything extensive like that. They go to camp in the summer, they go to church occasionally. They eat sort of crap and sort of good. They've never done Kumon or anything like that. They go to a private school, but it's nothing fancy, they have good academics, but it's not a crazy homework place. My kids just sort of came out like this, and damned if I know how. My only enforced rule with them is that the most important thing is to be kind to others. (Ok, and no wrestling near the china cabinet.)

And really, of all the things that mystify me about this situation, it's the world's refusal to believe that the universe makes some people different, different in ways we don't understand completely, but still real, still standing here in front of me. Some of us are mentally ill, and some of us are calm and even as still waters. Isn't what matters most, what people do in the world with their very different brains?

Cause some of us have bent heads and some of us have round ones.

And some Presidents are white and some Presidents are black, but what really matters in the end is if they are kind to others, right?



  1. Seems like a good philosophy to me.

  2. whatever babes. you are just boasting.
    and we are all jealous....

    Kidding KIDDING
    who told you to homeschool?

  3. I don't understand why it's considered *more* okay to admit your child has a LD than is gifted or...God forbid...HIGHLY gifted. Why do our schools cater to kids with LDs but not kids that are smart? Why can't we cater to both?

    We've gone through this with the Wondertwins - especially when they were in Grade 1 and reading at a Grade 6 or 7 level. One of the teachers actually said to me, "You know, I really wish you wouldn't have encouraged reading like that, it makes teaching them so hard." (I was speechless at that comment).

    I will tell you the biggest problem with gifted kids: adults assume that because a child is smart, they are also more mature. You can have a 10 year old that's off the charts in intelligence, but he's still a 10 year old who probably likes to make noises with his armpits. People forget that and it puts amazing pressure on kids. (Just giving you the heads up on something to watch out for with teachers).

    I was in the "gifted" program at school and it is amazing the amount of ridicule and taunting I received. Not from my classmates: but from family members and friends of family, who either laughed in my face or looked at my like they expected me to start spouting quantum mechanic theories in Latin.

    I wasn't "high gifted" (I was regular, but I went to school with a number of kids that reached that "holy-sh*t-that-kid-is-freakin-brilliant" level of giftedness and you're right, it can be a blessing or a curse.

    I'm not sure what I can suggest other than try to find a private school that will embrace his skills and find something from him to do afterschool that will also mentally stimulate him.

    If there's anything I can do, email me.

  4. One of my son's is in a helmet. I'm here to tell you it's ok - you don't have to hide your kid for the next few months. Sure people will give you a look of pity sometimes and some kids will ask "mommy, what's wrong with that baby's head", but mostly it's ok. We take our kids everywhere and the helmet hasn't changed that. We even took him to plenty of "no on 8" rallies - hmm, maybe we were going for the sympathy vote, haha. Really, I think my kid looks adorable in his helmet. And with just a few short months of helmeting, his head will be normally shaped forever.

  5. After 3.5 weeks in the helmet, I really don't give it much thought anymore. Mr. B is doing great... the stares really aren't that bothersome - one kid even said "Hey mom, look at that kid's cool helmet!" To be honest, I think he looks funny without it now!! I am that used to it. Sure, I miss being able to nuzzle his little noggin and it's harder to get in for kisses, but I think it's worth it in the end!

  6. Oh, the beginning of your post made me laugh...thanks for that!

  7. right.

    In our school newsletter (today's issue no less) there are a couple of paragraphs on Talented and Gifted (TAG)

    Want me to type it all out?

    Ok then....

    Talented and Gifted (TAG) at *** Elementary.

    There are several ways for a student to begin the process of being identified as TAG in the **** schools. In first grade all studets take the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability test. In third grade all students take the Otis Lennon school Ability Test. (OLSTAT). These tests asses student ability beyond literacy and math. You can find more information on these assessments online. A qualifying score of 99% or higher on either of these assessments would begin the process of identifying a student as Intellectually Gifted.
    Studets can also be identified as TAG specifically in math or reading by reaching a designated cut score on the (state where we live)** State Assessments. These assessments are given beginning in third grade, and the qualifying scores are set at the end of each school year. Therefore, only students in fourth and fifth grade are identified in these areas.

    Each student identifed as TAG at ***has a Personal Education Plan (PEP). The studen's teacher creates the PEP with parent input. The PEP outlines assessments, curriculum and programs that will be utilized in the classroom to meet the needs of that student.
    New this year at *** we have built ino our schedule a 1.5 hour reading block in first through fifth grade. This allows for whole group instrcution as wll as group work at ability levels, including grouping for high achieving/TAG students.
    Also, for math instruction, we began two TAG groups on Wednesday, Nov, 5th *** will meet with the 4th and 5th grade math TAG students once a wekek to complete integrated projects.
    If you have any questions please call our TAG coordinator,(name and number)

    Soooo not to overwhelm you further...does that help? It's all I've got.
    Course you'll get looks for J.
    And course you'll get comments for K. So what life goes on. Do what's best for you and your family.
    I think you are doing a great job!
    Go get you a book on how to raise octopi!

  8. my youngest baby daughter had a problem with dent on her head as well and had to go to specialist. i remember the panic i felt thinking o crap something is wrong with my kids head! it turned out to be something that could be grown out of.

    as for the rest of your post, i am sitting here cheering you on! so sick of other people's opinions especially the "establishment" and people who think they know it all.
    just the other day my kid's teacher showed me the entire class average and the pointed to my kid's scores. it really pissed me off. he thinks she stupid cause of her low marks. personally, i think shes bored out of her tree. why does the world try us to force us to be like them? normalize? No Thanks!!

  9. Everyone wants to think their kid is "gifted." I swear, sometimes I'm very glad I don't have kids. I don't think I'd do too well at the competitive aspects of parenting these days. ; )

  10. I can accept the not so nice talk about adoption right through the discussion of ritalin rocking, but this business about being kind to each other? Feh.

    Kidding, kidding.

    Her blog's no longer up, but through the wayback machine you can find Suz's post about taking her helmet-wearing twins to the State Fair. As I live near her in this Southern state (blue this go 'round, I might add!), I was really touched by the comments she got, of "Sweet little babies. Bless their hearts." Though you may not be ... it may be a regional (or a me) thing. Anyway, you can find the post here:

  11. Well, here's the thing.

    Both of my twins have impressively flat heads and I am quite sure a trip to Helmetland is in my near future. In stereo.....
    Oh, my.


  12. Good luck with the helmet. Sounds like nobody's putting one over your Mr. And good luck with the octopus as well. All those tentacles.