Wednesday, September 13, 2006
He Ain't Trouble, He's My Brother
We have just completed the third day of school here at Temple Academy. The boys are very motivated and they are doing beautiful work.
I can see already that the light summer program that I did with Simeon is really going to pay off. He's forgotten plenty of things from last year, but not everything and that will really ease his transition into third grade.
Alex is doing a Kindergarten curriculum, and if anything he isn't challenged enough by it. I may need to supplement and find more fruitful work for him. He is so proud of all he does and so am I. I love the way his ears go up when he smiles and the little pleased-with-himself sound he makes when he learns something new.
Jacob is eager to keep up with Alex and he very nearly can. (At least he puts on a good show.) He isn't interested in the colorful everything-you-need-to-know-for-preschool books I bought him and he doesn't want to color anything. He wants to work with a #2 pencil and write letters and numbers. I let him do what he can.
So, you'd think we're off to a pretty good start and I suppose we are....but (and this is a pretty big BUT so I had better capitalize it) there is just one little problem. His name is Nichloas. Oh, I suppose there are two problems, Zachary and Nicholas, but one is soooo much more trouble than the other that he eclipses him almost entirely.
DAY ONE: Nicholas dumps a potted plant, empties the contents of the electric pencil sharpener three times, pushes a stool up to the kitchen sink, turns on the water and soaks himself all in the first hour. It didn't get any better after that. It may have gotten worse, if you can believe it.
DAY TWO: On the advice of a very wise older sister, I try television. Thomas the Tank Engine buys me one half hour of good work time. Thank you, Thomas! Thank you wise older sister! Zachary watched the whole thing and I think Nicholas wandered the playroom quietly, but when the first show ended they both came screaming up the stairs.
DAY THREE: On the advice of a very gifted younger sister, I try inviting Nicholas to join us at the work table. Ok, she told me I should restrain him in a high chair and I didn't because he screams whenever he is restrained, for as long as he is restrained. Anyway, he crawled all over our work, threw pencils, and adjusted the chandelier. (Hmm...I hope that can be fixed.) At this point I sent him off to play...see DAY ONE.
I am open to suggestions if anyone out there can help, but short of hiring a babysitter I don't believe there is a solution to our handsome little problem, unless bearing with him, juggling time-buying techniques, and accepting a less than ideal work environment can be considered a solution.
At the close of our day today, Simeon was reviewing his addition flash cards. Nicholas climbed up on his lap and was slapping the table and shouting garbley-gook that sounded like the numbers Simeon was saying.
"Eighteen," Simeon would say in that urgent I'm-doing-flashcards sort of way. "AAaahteen," Nichloas would repeat in the same urgent tone. It really was adorable and I had to laugh.
"YOU ARE SO MUCH TROUBLE," I said affectionately.
"He's no trouble to me." Simeon said ingenuously and kissed Nicholas's soft baby head.