Our school days are winding down and summer is approaching too quickly. How did this year fly by? Wasn’t it just yesterday we were both anxious about transitioning into new schools?
N has been having what he likes to call “teenage mayonnaise” as malaise is too difficult and French for him to pronounce. We spend most of our mornings trying to get him to take a shower and keeping him from wandering into NSpace (where he daydreams), which can occupy him a little too much and make him late for school. Another game we play is, “Mom, do I have to go to school?” We’ve been playing this game every day for about a month.
I do not like this game.
However, my resolve is stronger than his and reminding him that his computer privileges are just that, he tends to turn it around. I find it humorous and ironic that for someone who gripes so much about school that he excels at it. Then again, his new computer has been the cause of his malaise, ennui and general pre teen beast like behavior. I would like to set it on fire.
But lessons must be taught. And limits must be set. And good behavior must be rewarded.
N has to do a book talk each trimester. Nothing gives me more gray hair and anxiety than the child in the midst of a typhoon panic about an assignment due. But, like the lighthouse on a rock I am, (or at least how I imagine I am) I am able to help N through those times.
This trimester we were able to find a book he liked. Ironically, it was one I had picked up for myself. N gravitated towards it and swallowed it up.
Instead of a traditional book report, N used Powtoon to make an interactive powerpoint presentation.
The day before grades were due (which, in even more irony was Friday the 13th,) N calls me up in a anxious froth. “OH MY GOD, Mom, I have 2 projects due TOMORROW!” This was a surprise to me, as I didn’t think he had anything due. He was beside himself and using evasive maneuvers to avoid anything resembling work. I was able to talk him off the proverbial ledge and told him to do a blog post, (as I figured this would take care of at least one of the two assignments and something we could easily go over together) I would pick him up from school.
As I am entering the school, the SPED liaison catches up with me in the parking lot. She said, “Wow, N’s book talk was SO amazing! The teacher was very impressed.” She also told me that N didn’t have to do the two other book talks. We both agreed to let N do the blog post as additional work. I ran into the teacher when picking up N and she echoed what the liaison said. “What an interesting and creative talk. N had the whole class engaged and asking wonderful questions. The class didn’t know that he had Asperger’s and he was so brave to share it with his peers.”
Feather, knock me down.
N looked so sad and forlorn when I finally saw him. “Mom, I’m so depressed. My teenage mayonnaise is acting up again.” I took his hands in mine and shared with him what I heard from his teachers. That little impish smile curled up on his lips and his face scrunched up into little boy like glee.
Then he asked for more computer time. I laughed. I said, “How about pizza and pink lemonade instead?” He agreed.
I asked him how it felt when he took the time to do his work, do it well and then get praised and rewarded for it.
“It feels awesome, ” he beamed. For me, too, kiddo.