Tuesday, April 19, 2011
My Son, the Handful
I have two boys. One is 9 and the other 5. Both of them are incredibly intelligent. I know every parent thinks and says that, but I have a little more than parent awe as proof. My 9 year old has cognitive capabilities that test off the chart. He's in gifted programs and started school early blah blah blah. Point is, he's smart. Now, along comes my 5 year old. Smart as a whip, but evil. Not kill the neighborhood cats evil, but what can I do to push this situation over the edge of a cliff evil. He's a ladies man to boot. At 4 years old, he announced his favorite restaurant was Hooter's, but he only wants hugs from the blonde waitresses. Apparently he's picky too. My 9 year old is a living monument to an adolescent Divinci's David. He's average height, average weight, cute and incredibly muscular for his age due to his massive regiment of year round soccer. My 5 year old is 10th percentile in height. He can still pass for 2-3 years old. BUT, his head, chest and shoulders are larger than my 9 year old's. Sounds strange, but it's not like he's a dwarf or anything. He's just proportioned like a very thick mean little linebacker. He's strong as hell too. I refer to it as "tard strength". I know that's not very PC, but fuck it. There are big differences in the two boys obviously. Where my 9 year old worries about why Wayne Rooney would curse into a camera if he knew it would get him suspended from his next two games, my 5 year old asks questions like "How long before I die?" Are you starting to see a pattern here?
Now that you have a little background on the situation I'm dealing with, let's go back to last July when he was still 4 years old. We decided to have him tested for admission to kindergarten this year and follow in his brother's footsteps. He was already reading, could add and subtract as well as showed signs of the same intellect that his brother has. We drop him off with the other 5 year olds and he goes through the hour test. Upon picking him back up, we're told we need to have a conversation with the coordinator in charge. We wait around until everyone leaves. Good news? Is he smart?
We sit down with the teachers putting the test on and the coordinator. Here is how the conversation went:
"How did he do?" - Me
"Have you had him tested before?" - Coordinator
"No, we just assumed since his brother did so well, we'd give him the same opportunity." - Me
"I really don't know how to put this… he didn't pass." - Coordinator
"Excuse me?" - Me
"Honestly, we couldn't even register him. Based on the type of evaluation we use, we didn't know how to score him at all. We can tell he's smart, but it was as if he found joy in frustrating us." - Teacher 1
"I'm really confused here. What the heck happened?" - Me
"He refused to answer our questions honestly to begin with. Here let me show you. When asked what animal barks, he replied 'a frog'. When asked how many days were in a week, he answered 'all of them'. It goes on like that for all of them." - Coordinator
"Some of his answers we don't even know where he came up with them. For example, we asked what is shiny that a woman puts on her finger, his answer 'a band-aid' which is a creative answer, but not the one we were looking for. After prompting him for a better answer, he said 'nail polish'. It was if he wanted to give us every answer but the right one." - Teacher 2
"We asked him what holds cereal and he answered "milk". We were looking for bowl. We asked him if he could tell us his address and he said 'No, because you're a stranger'. We could not convince him otherwise." - Teacher 1
"I really don't know what to say. Do you want us to ask him the questions? I'm sure he'll answer for me." - Me
"His dexterity was excellent and he passed everything else, but when it came to the cognitive questions, he scored a zero. When we asked if he could count to ten, he refused." - Coordinator
"He said he didn't know how?" - Me
"Yes. Well, he actually said, 'Yes'. But he wouldn't count. We asked him if he could, he said yes. We asked him if he would and he said he didn't feel like it right then." - Coordinator
"What does this all mean?" - Me
"We feel sorry for the teacher that gets him in the fall. He's a handful, but we're going to go ahead and pass him." - Coordinator
"Thank you?" - Me
That night, we asked him what happened at the testing. His reply, "Those teachers were stupid. They asked me dumb questions. I figured if they didn't know the answers, I wasn't gonna tell em… Dad, they didn't know that dog's barked. What are they gonna teach me? I'm not going to school."
My son, the handful.
Posted by FinallyHeSleeps