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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sun - Spelling Bee or hangman

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times [a day!] Those electronic game devices are the scourge of my life. However, they are the single most motivating force in the boys’ lives.

It’s hard to pin point which feature is most annoying: the irritating, monotonous tunes that jangle through my brain, the inability of anyone to wear a set of head phones, the squeaks and yells that they utter continuously whilst playing, their meltdowns of frustration as the fight their way up the learning curve of a new game or new level,

Then today, what do I find? I find that the wireless feature, that we parents have been unable to locate, utilize or translate, they discover for themselves. As if this isn’t proof enough of their innate abilities, we also learn that they are willing to communicate, one to the other. One draws a little picture with a word or two of description, or a message and then pings it across to the other one. The other one roars with laughter and then returns the favour. Facilitated communication, reciprocal something or other and a whole heap for fun for them both.

Their willingness to communicate in this manner is unprecedented. I am stunned into awestruck silence as I watch them ping back and forth. This heady experience has me dumbstruck until I’m prompted by “how you are spell?”
“How do you spell what dear?”
“How you are spell ‘room.’?”
I oblige.
“How you are spell?”
“How do you spell what dear?” The all essential and most elusive skill of referencing back is still missing. Will always be missing. They will never ever put the clue in the question.
“How you are spell ‘thank you’?”
I oblige. He opens his mouth to ask another one but I jump right in, “you know instead of saying two sentences, you can just say one and get the answer quicker.”

He looks at me blankly, too many words to process. I try again.
“You could say ‘how to you spell……’ and then fill in the blank?”
“Fill in the blank? I am not wanting blank?” I bite my lip.
“No……how do you spell Torchic or Treecko or Mudkip. You add the word you want to spell to the question.”
“I am not want spell doze words.” I grab a pad of paper and a pencil. For some reason the written word so often works, where the spoken word is indecipherable. I write it down for my visual learner with dodgy auditory processing skills. He reads with care. I wait.

“So what do you want to spell now?”

He spells it out to me, word by word, syllable by syllable, just to make it clear.
“Er……how you be…….can I be spell……how you are spell….B..I..N..G..O!” he blasts before rolling on the floor in guffaws of laughter.

Oh the misery of it all.

The Day of Rest

My daughter spends the morning at an Easter Egg hunt. Her father slumbers upstairs with a combination of a migraine and jet lag of uncertain proportional percentages. I hover by the coffee machine but take a different option. I curl up with two boys who are under the weather, off colour and not quite themselves, following a week of fever.

One burrows his medicine ball head into my thigh, powerful and needy but more than merely proprioceptive input. The little one permits me to put an arm around his waist, well away from the danger area above his shoulders. No-one says a word, snug and silent for a change. I debate whether to commence word extraction? My finger circles the palm of his hand in idleness. It reminds me of the baby game, 'Round and Round the Garden, like a teddy bear.......' a game that has never been fun, a banned game. Such a commonplace little pastime. Such an impossible hurdle. The words 'teddy bear' were always a certain trigger for a meltdown. I had to substitute different words and remove the tickle. 'Little hare' was feeble. A fingertip to the nose instead of a tickle, was also in the reject box, just as you would expect from someone with sensory issues. I don't dab at his nose with a tissue because I learned that lesson a long time ago. I see the moisture glisten, untouched and undisturbed, reluctant to break the peaceful spell. His finger nudges mine, his head nods encouragement, his eyes send a mixed message. I begin circling again, gently walk my fingers up his forearm, upper arm, shoulder, pause on his chin and then to fingerprint his nose.

He giggles.

Is seven years too late?

Maybe I should have used permanent ink?

Today I am also over "here" at "Trusera" with "Reciprocal Exchange."

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