Saturday, April 2, 2016

All About Them

Asher's such a fun kid. He is growing out his hair, while simultaneously feeling embarrassed about doing it. We need to figure out how to style it right - it looks positively unruly most of the time.

On St. Patrick's Day Asher realized his loose tooth was missing. He wouldn't let me pull it out before that, despite my warnings that this could happen. Amazingly, he found the tooth! We put it in a little bag and before it went under his pillow, it got lost. Yes, again. It may have even been found and lost another time at some point. So yeah, that was a couple weeks ago. Yesterday morning we were gathering for family prayer, so I was kneeling on the living room floor waiting and looking at Asher's cute face. Out of nowhere I wondered to myself "what ever happened to that tooth? I wonder if we'll ever come across it." Literally the second I finished that thought I noticed Brennan looking curiously at the floor next to me. Sitting not 5 inches away was the bag with Asher's tooth. I really don't think I'd seen it subconsiously or anthing either. The extra strange this is, this was the morning after having cleaned the living room THREE times the day before, including vacuuming. The floor was still basically clean, so where did the tooth appear from, and how did it get there? No one seems to know.

I won! I won! Several weeks ago we all waited for Brennan who was taking a while to join us for FHE. What was keeping was that he was creating this trophy which was awarded to yours truly. It's the "Artichoke Award" for eating the most artichoke at dinner that evening. Go me! ;-) 
Brennan cracks me up.

Another year, another pinewood derby. I took the boys to the workshop of Bro. Thomson again, who's a custom woodworker and a pinewood derby enthusiast. It's always great fun for the boys, and an AMAZING way to get the cars done because when it's scheduled, it actually happens. I think this is the first year that we weren't trying to quickly dry the last-minute painted cars hours before the derby too. ;-)

One day Brennan and Kieran came into my room, Kieran getting a shoulder ride from Brennan. He had his hands around Brennan's neck which, though they were both laughing, was also uncomfortable for Brennan. I suggested he should have Kieran put his hands on Brennan's forehead instead. This is what they got:

And quickly progressed to this:

They were having the time.of.their.lives!

Asher helped put on a great music program at school. It was joke-themed and very fun. There was one song about yodeling where a bunch of kids, including Asher, came to the front wearing their hats backwords and pretending to be punks, sang the yodel as "yo! yo! yo-del!" You could tell Asher was thrilled to be acting like a punk.

Found a frog the other day and Brennan bravely held it. In the end, when it never moved, even when Brennan accidentally dropped it, we thought it might be injured, or maybe just in paralyzing shock or something.

We have some kinetic sand, which the kids had out the other day. I've been finding bits of this multicolored sand everywhere. This dropping, left on the couch, had the littlest bit of pink mixed with the brown and looked exactly like a smiley face. Isn't that weird?

Ah, Kier-Bear. He can count to 13. Or 12. Definitely to 11, and then he says either 12 or 13 or both depending on the circumstance. He also goes on to hit a bunch of the teens, skipping one or two, if he's in the mood. He's such a good memorizer. Like Brennan, he learns songs and sequences really quickly.

After taking a break last Nov-Feb, the boys started up piano lessons again with new teachers. Brennan is seeing a lady in my ward who's husband recently passed away and is very talented on the piano. Asher see's her grandson, a high schooler also in the ward, for a discounted price. It's been a cool experience in a lot of ways. I like seeing their differences in what clicks with each of them, I like watching Asher learn from a teen, doing this for the first time. And I really, really find it interesting to see Brennan with his new teacher. Sis. Herrin learned within a minute of the first lesson that Brennan glances at the music, then looks down at his hands and just remembers it. He also likes to just pick things out by ear. Sis. Herrin has had Brennan working on his own composition, among other things. I think Brennan has a great ear for music, but his attention is what needs work. During the lessons, Sis Herrin will say something to Brennan or give him an instruction, then she'll quietly wait while he spends a minute distracted or playing out a tune he suddenly decided to try, then what he heard catches up and he gives his attention back to Sis. Herrin who picks up where they left off. 

What an interesting thing to behold. How often does Brennan get this kind of treatment, I wonder? He hears "Hey Brennan, pay attention" "Brennan, I'm talking to you" etc. etc. But I've gotten to watch what happens when someone gives him just a small time to finish his tangent-personal thoughts, then rejoin. And you know what, I'm pretty sure he's actually using that time simultaneously processing what the person said to him. When we demand he gives his attention in a way we recognize and answer right away, he's probably more likely to need things repeated because he didn't finish processing it to begin with.

The problem with an ADHD diagnosis is that is doesn't seem to really address what's going on. The more I watch Brennan and notice how he operates, the more I'm intrigued by it. He's a deep, deep thinker. At four years old he was asking me how Santa could be Resurrected if he lives forever already. The other kids haven't never wondered things like that. I get comments from Brennan's primary teachers ALL the time about his awesome questions and very deep answers. His therapist mentioned the idea of administering an IQ test for Brennan because often kids diagnosed with ADHD have high IQs. It's hard for me to see that as a possibility with Brennan though. Not that I don't think he's bright, but it's hard for me to connect high IQ to someone who struggles to achieve in school, who can't recall instructions, needs frequent reminders, and regularly acts impulsively. He isn't a big fan of reading, and performs under grade level on standardized tests other than reading. So I don't automatically think "High IQ" under those circumstances. And yet I also wonder, what would happen if Brennan could FINISH those inner thoughts that distract him? When allowed to, he shows great creativity and intricate ideas. I understand neither teachers, nor myself, nor the world in general can accommodate that very often though. There are certain expectations that when someone is listening they show it certain ways and respond under a certain time frame. It's hard to know how to best help Brennan achieve and be well prepared for life, but it sure is interesting to watch and wonder about him.

Just something I think about. But really, this was MY tangent when I actually just wanted to mention here how well the piano lessons are going and how fun it is to watch kids develop different talents and learning styles.

Aaaaaand, now that's it's jafter 3am, I think I'd better head for bed.


Kelly said...

What is wrong with you. You eat artichokes like they're going out of style apparently!! Bleck!

I thought your thoughts on Brennan were totally fascinating - that would be interesting to observe and study a little more. I find education a fascinating topic, so the idea of how to best help ALL children learn is always something I love to think about.
High IQ doesn't necessarily mean they are doing well in school or geniuses. I think it actually refers to a different way of using your brain. Sometimes people with a high iq are super good at schoolish subjects, but I'm thinking not always. Not that it's really that important to know in the long run, but it might help Brennan if people perceive him as much smarter than his ADHD portrays.

Laura said...

I'm chiming in late here, maybe too late, although I read this post soon after it was written. One thing I have always found interesting to remember is that when Albert Einstein was a child, his school master told his mother Albert was retarded. She didn't believe it, and encouraged him. The theories Einstein later developed were so out-there (but correct) that it was literally decades bef the physics world caught up w/ him.
I also remember something Kelly told me abt Nathan Richardson one time. Nathan got a perfect score on his SAT, but no one wanted to ride w/ him when he drove, because he was always thinking abt things, and didn't notice things like stop signs.
I don't really know how IQ tests work, except that somehow they measure abilities or potential, rather than learned/memorized knowledge.