Friday, January 27, 2017

Alexander the Bate!

Alex got his first library card this week.  I told him that he had to be able to sign his name before he could get one, and he's only been writing his name consistently well for the past month or so.  I've been worried about Alex, since I know he's starting kindergarten in the fall.  Is he as prepared as Andy was?  Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that he doesn't know any of the letters of the alphabet?  Maybe I should sit down and work with him while Emily is napping... or maybe since he seems content to play Batman on the Nintendo DS, I should just let sleeping dogs lie while I get in some of my own quiet time.  Yeah, we'll work on letters tomorrow.

Alex took the task of signing up for his first library card very seriously.  He signed his name on the back of the card as directed, and then, later, I compared his signature to Andy's, the one Andy wrote out when he was basically Alex's exact age.  Here are the two of them for your own perusal:

So, of course Andy's signature is faded. And he has an "n," a difficult letter (of which he wrote backwards.)  However, I'm going to go ahead and say the writing is about the same.  Could have been done by the same kid.  Except- Alex's is slightly better.

I need a little encouragement on the Alex front.  I finally got his speech evaluated, after two years of brushing off his poor enunciation as "normal" or "almost normal" or "it'll eventually be normal." Because the thing about Alex, as documented in his IEP paperwork, is that his comprehension, interpersonal skills, and ability to relate and converse to others is through the roof.  He gets it.  He's great fun to have a conversation with.  His sense of recall is eerie.  These are the things that reassured me that he was basically fine.  But his blended sounds come out as "d"s or "b"s.  The color green is bean.  A grape is a bape.  A green grape would be a bean bape.  And if you ask the guy at the grocery store (bocery door) where the bean bapes are, you are certainly not coming home with any kind of grapes, green or otherwise.

Did I mention that kindergarten is on the horizon?  I need to get his speech up to speed before the fall, before he is sounding out words to read and expressing needs and participating in a classroom that is less forgiving than those lovely Lutherans down at the church preschool. Suddenly, I have a deadline and a sense of urgency, and my parenting knob is being turned from a lazy 3 to an amped up 11.  The good news is that the speech pathologist has set up goals for him to start making progress as early as March and really does he think he'll be up to speed soon.  "He has a great attitude and motivation," the speech pathologist reassured me.  "Yeah!" repeated Alex to himself as we walked out.  "I'm BATE!"

At the library, my sweet Alex- who I of course love no more than my other two kids but inexplicably holds an extra special place in my heart- immediately lost his new library card.  "Oh no!  My library card is gone!" he exclaimed, exactly forty-five seconds after it had been issued.  I tracked down the missing card for him and we went downstairs to pick out our library books.  Alex chose three superhero books and a Batman DVD with his new card.  Andy, not to be outdone even though I'd already been to a DIFFERENT library earlier that day where I had picked out exactly fifteen books for him- a blend of picture, chapter, and easy readers as to meet all of his literary needs- decided to pick out his own book, too, using his library card.  When he handed me the book on Dios de la Muertos, I didn't have the heart to tell him that nobody in our household could speak or read Spanish. 

I had signed the boys up for this program at the library, which was the real reason we were there.  They were going to program these little robot bees to navigate mazes, which sounded fun to me.  The program was ages 5-7, which didn't stop me from enrolling four year old Alex.  Of course, I forgot about honest Andy who immediately called out Alex's correct age upon hearing another, more official adult than myself, speak out the ages of the program.  "Alex is close enough," I said with the smile of a beauty pageant contestant who is realizing she knows nothing about the specifics of World Peace during the Q & A portion. "Now get in that room.  Take your little brother with you.  And help him out.  He's only four."

And yes, Alex is only four. He has a lot of growing to do, even in just the six months before kindergarten.  This is the portion of my blog entry where I tell you all of the reasons I am NOT worried about Alex.  He can easily put together 100 piece puzzles by himself.  He is a hard worker on any task given to him.  He loves assembling Lego sets and creating his own storylines using the mini-figs.  He takes pride in his accomplishments.  He has a great heart, which shines through his smile, which shows all of his teeth, lower and top.  It's a smile of pure happiness.  He has the exact right amount of attachment to me. He will be perfectly fine getting on that bus, which is an important accomplishment in and of itself, and he will give me that wide, toothsome joyous smile when he gets off eight hours later.

Eight hours later.  

But Andy did it just fine, and so will Alex.  Although, when Emily sees both boys get on that bus in August, she's going to fall apart, far worse even than how she fell apart when they went into the robot bee program at the library without her. "Get a grip," I'll have to tell her.  And Alex will wave from the window and say, hopefully,  "Yeah!  Get a grip!" 

As opposed to, "Get a bip."

Because he will start to speak better.  And when he's communicating absolutely perfectly in the fall, nobody will ever need to know how I completely dropped the ball until hour eleven.

PS.  This is how I think Emily will sign her own library card in three years.  There are already signs.

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