I had a long post here about how Baroy hit a wall with N and his homework the other day and ended up saying to me in frustration, almost spitting the words out, "He needs to be in special ed! He needs more help!" And you could just tell that he thought that would hit me as either some kind of insult, or some kind of revelation. I'm not sure which. But all I did was to stare at him for about three seconds and then hiss back, "Well, what the hell do you think I've been talking about all this time?"
But I deleted that post, because trying to explain why that was possibly The Most Infuriating Statement of All Time was taking more patience and finesse than I have right now. Take my word for it. Steam came out of my ears, even while I felt bad for him in some ways, because he sees so much of the world--his son included--in black and white. And, to him, the fact that everyone agrees that those IQ tests that pegged N as borderline retarded were wrong meant that N is fine. Which he isn't. And...urgh. Infuriating.
But because I can't stop thinking about it right now, I'm going to exorcise that conversation with a much-less-aggravating and yet still-illuminating example from tonight's less-annoying homework session, where N had to write sentences for his spelling words. We were dealing with the word soil, and N wanted the sentence to be a question. (He likes writing question marks.)
After thinking for a few moments, what he came up with was, "Is the soil wet? Is the soil dry?"
"You could also just say, 'Is the soil wet or dry?'" I suggested.
He considered that. "That's a good idea," he admitted. "But I'm going to say it like, 'Is the soil dry or wet?'" (Which he did, spelling soil perfectly, because this child--who can't reliably remember the days of the week or add simple numbers or pass a freaking science test--has what is undoubtedly a better-than-90-percent average on his spelling tests.)
And it's not like there's anything wrong with that. But it's just that most people don't say dry or wet. They say wet or dry. Rain or shine. Back and forth.
N, on the other hand, is all about dry or wet and shine or rain and forth and back. And as much as I want to only believe that that's what makes him quirky and wonderful, I also believe that that's what makes him quirky and vulnerable.
He definitely needs more help.