Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Are we out of the rut?

You should know by now, if I get quiet, I am too worried to blog. And I have been worried. About Pablo. He seems to have been in a rut. Forever. OK, I exaggerate. But for a while. From the books it seems that most gifted kids are constantly curious, always wanting to know more. Pablo, on the other hand, learns in fits and starts. He stagnates for a while and then engulfs a new topic seemingly overnight. Then he obsesses over it until... he engulfs something else. This was how he learned to read, learned countries, learned math. One day he didn't know where Suriname was and the next he did. Along with all the other countries.

The current rut has been the ever present Mamma Mia hide and seek obsession (the one where the characters, represented by playmobile, legos, or almost anything else create the island and then take turns playing hide and seek). The adult gets to give coordinates for the seeker. 5 degrees south, etc. This one has gone on for much longer than I am used to, and it has been non-academic. Now, that is fine with me. (It isn't that I care how academic he is. I care how happy he is. And he is happiest when he is excited about learning something new. Less tantrums, more peace in the house. Good for him, good for me.)

Within all previous ruts, there was space to grow. I mean, when he wanted to learn math, he had addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, prime numbers, fractions, algebra, etc to work with. Mamma Mia is pretty one dimentional. Unless it was filling some spacial reasoning need. I am not sure what need was being met, but boy did it take a while. I wonder if playing Battleship (you know, where boats play HIDE AND SEEK from each other? Why are games so violent?!) helped with working through any spacial reasoning issue... we played for a week or so and now he is suddenly on to other things.

Yesterday he started playing with money again. He gave my partner an allowance (using a puzzle where each piece has a different number of coins or dollars) and asked her to buy things. They spent over an hour with her giving him money and him making change. To the best of my knowledge, not one Mamma Mia character was mentioned. Today he started telling me a whole story about various subtypes of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. There were made up words to explain subtypes of pennies etc. How I have MISSED made up words!

Now he has been doing new things while obsessed with Mamma Mia, as a good friend kept pointing out when I would call to ask if she thought Pablo was OK. Martial arts. Swim class. But nothing that HE was passionate about. He was happy to do them, but it wasn't internally driven. I was getting scared he had lost his passion for learning. Understand, I don't care what he learns, when he learns, or how he spends his time. But I do care that he is HAPPY. And for months, he hasn't been himself. Honestly, I was starting to freak out a little. But all I had to do was wait long enough.

How is it that I always forget that with children (and adults), change is inevitable? Silly me. I guess worrying is one way to pass the time.... maybe I should find a new hobby that is less wearing on the nerves.

1 comment:

  1. I thought I'd already commented on this, but, i guess not. I must have been so impressed with how much Pablo can already do that I had to pick my jaw up off the ground and come back.

    I think all children, and adults for that matter, regress a bit before they're about to make a big leap. It's important to go easy on them during these times. It's kind of like a vulnerable snake right after shedding it's skin. It's a bit sensitive and needs to toughen up before it can feel comfortable in its new digs.

    You are so good with your kids. They are both seem so happy, and as you said, that's the most important right?