Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Interpretations

This is Willow's interpretation of Spongebob:



She did this last night. We have a playdough kit that has many faces, arms, etc. for you to create different Spongebobs. But, being two years old, she sees the many options as all the options. She cannot distinguish choices as well, and to her, assembling something means using all the parts (because, of course, why would there be spare parts?). She starts off with putting the eyes, arms (the ones with a spatula and krabby patty--she knows her Spongebob!) and the hat on. Then, she puts on the first mouth/nose combination. Then some eyes go next to the hat, some arms next to that, etc. Confident that this is Spongebob, nonetheless.

This is Michael's interpretation of a situation (and apology):



It reads: "Dear ________: I am sorry about what I acted like on Friday. The last camp I went to was experienced with that sort of stuff and I reacted differently to it. Sorry to everyone especially Lauren for getting too far over nothing."

When I read this, I stiffled a laugh...and then worried that this apology may sound snarky--but it is not meant to be...this is his interpretation of something I had said to him this weekend.

Some background: On Friday, he had a temper tantrum at camp. He is generally well behaved, but he gets frustrated, and his frustration sometimes comes to a head and he then stomps and rages as if he was 5 years old (the meds help him to focus, but sometimes help him to OVER focus and this is one of the results--it is also excerbated by his pragmatic social issues). So, at Camp on Friday, he misinterpreted something and thought they were going ahead on the adventure without him. And I got The Call from Camp. Oftentimes, at this age, most teachers/instructors are not sure how to handle an eleven year old throwing a tantrum...and with Michael, he really just needs to be left alone (not comforted) and he will calm down and then be reasonable and apologetic (although sometimes still insisting his interpretation of the situation was correct).

When dad picked him up, he read him the riot act, and suggested that he write an apology to the instructors. I said nothing until this weekend (I had talked to him on the phone during the incident), when my son mentioned writing the apology. I then took the opportunity to point out to him that previously at the Y after-school care, the counselors were used to dealing with him and other children with similar issues, as they are more of an open-door community (i.e. they will not turn down a child for care for monetary reasons, etc.). Whereas this summer camp is run more like a business (i.e. if one mis-behaves, they can more easily dismiss you from the camp).** He likes this camp very much (and they have after-school care which we are thinking of registering him for) so he understood that I was saying that he needs to watch his behavior more carefully, because those incidents will be less tolerated. I then ended the lecture with pointing out that with more opportunities as one matures, one has to take more responsibility of one's actions.

Probably the camp will be happy that he wrote an apology at all and will not mis-interpret his intentions...

** This camp does know about his ADHD and does have experience with kids like him...this was just his first incident.

5 comments:

Miss K said...

Willow's Sponge Bob looks like Luke's Mr. Potato Head. hahahaha

I got a few apology notes during my teaching career. I think it's great and I think they way you handled it was great, too, from a teacher's perspective. He's a wonderful kid!

Cibele said...

You have two fantastic children... and you are such a wonderful mother , always encouraging them to express themselves. Willow is such an artist!

Kristin said...

Love Willow's Spongebob.

I think you guys did a great job getting Michael to write an apology and I think he did a great job writing it.

raisingmiles said...

Your kids are so unique!

DaisyGal said...

I <3 WIllow's Spongebob, it's wonderful.

Plus you're a great mom, you handled that situation with michael...sooo well. I'm envious of how you did it.

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