Sunday, November 7, 2010

It All Adds Up

I always know when my husband has used the ATM to deposit his paycheck and any reimbursements he got from work expenses. A few days later, a letter comes from the bank. Thank you for the deposit of those checks, the letter says, and here is your corrected math...

Hey, I can't throw stones -- I took only college algebra, reveled in my B, and ran as far from the math building as I could to get my BA.

My boy, with double vision until almost 4, holding his head tilted and turned to help his brain make sense of the world, never had a real fighting chance at number sense with the DNA we gave him. Not that ADHD and autism help much, either. And, can you say, dyscalculia?

Every day, I sneak the same question into a conversation with my Rooster. It's always, in essence, 2+2. Sometimes I make it into a word problem. I've invented a character named Two Head Fred. Guess how many eyes he has? Cookies get involved. Legos. Two for you and two for me. His shoes and Peaches' shoes. Now, of course he is on to me. But in all sincerity, he looks at me daily and says, "2+2? Mom? I don't know? Five? Free?" He can't do TH sounds yet either.

Yes, yes, we have the Touch Math curriculum. Sure, sure, we've tried songs about math. Oh, of course we bought the stuff from Melissa and Doug. Absolutely I have Unifix cubes. What do you mean did we get a tutor? You betcha. YouTube? Watch it. Gotta love School House Rock. My husband bought a supply of nuts and bolts to use high interest manipulatives in patterning and sequencing practice. But so far, it ain't adding up for Roo. "Um, one? Seven?"

Sometimes I panic. Sometimes I lose patience. (Yes, me.) Sometimes I freak out. Sometimes I get lazy and let things slide.

Here is what works best, if not for Roo, then for me: I look back at the Pile. You know, the documentation. The assessments. The report cards. The lists. The bad reviews, as it were. I remind myself that we had days when we wondered if he could GO to school. You know, as in handle a day? And I thought he might be going to the prom un- potty trained for a while there. And reading, which has a LONG WAY still to go, came a long, long way in the last few months. Today my boy and his sister built a castle out of pillows and only fought about half the time that they laughed and conversed. Today Roo and his dad cooked gfcfsf corn dogs, and Roo wrote down his version of the recipe. Today I am reminding myself: all will be revealed in time. Don't go miscounting the chickens just yet. I mean, what works best for me? Keeping in mind that everything is relative. What works best for me today is this: If dyscalculia turns out to be our biggest problem, life could be worse.

It's November and I am thankful. You can take that to the bank.


pixiemama said...

You're right. We just have to keep putting on that wider lens, letting the entire picture in. We keep asking, "In the long run, what will he really need?" I don't know. I don't pretend to know. What I do know is that losing sleep over this stuff isn't solving anything.


kim mccafferty said...

Great attitude, particularly at this time of year! And I thought I knew all the "dyss"...

Elizabeth said...

Great post -- you're an evolved mother for sure!

I'm sorry that we haven't gotten together sooner -- let's plan on something!