Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The testing

So every day I set forth the best of intentions to update my blog in the evening, and every evening I seem to be so bushed that I can’t put two coherent thoughts together, but instead stare glassy-eyed at the screen and procrastinate until tomorrow.
BUT, today was noteworthy because Ian had his first three hours of testing with the psychologist this morning. After remarking that “it was REALLY long,” He reported that the promised building-with-blocks activity was not as fun as he had expected, because he had been hoping to make an Eiffel Tower out of the blocks, and instead he had to make shapes with red and white blocks. Yup, that’s my divergent thinker for you. It makes me wonder a bit how accurate the results will be, since if Ian is not interested in something he really doesn’t give it his best effort. Unfortunately, the activities are not set up to revolve around prehistoric life or Magic Treehouse books. (And yes, she confirmed that she could tell pretty easily when he was ready to be done with a given activity. Even that is useful information, of course, since the testing measures not only IQ but also social/emotional maturity and attention/focus.) I guess that’s why it’s best not to get too tied to a number as a determinant of a child’s intelligence.
I have such mixed feelings about this testing -- including a feeling of impatience at having to wait another nine days for him to finish the last hour, and then another two weeks for the evaluation and interpretation of results. I admit I’ve been kind of pinning my hopes on it, probably too much, so on days when I feel ready to just crumple in defeat because I can’t get him to focus on anything on my agenda I’ll say to myself, “Ah, but pretty soon he’s getting the testing done, and then the doctor will have all these brilliant insights into what’s going on inside that noggin, which will deliver me from that feeling of groping around in the dark and from that negative energy that seems to build between us when I spend so much of my time reminding, correcting, trying not to communicate my discouragement so I’m not beating the poor kid down all the time.” This is actually somewhat embarrassing to write, since it exposes my doubts and weaknesses as a parent, but if I don’t get it down in words, it’s just this static in my brain and knots in my shoulders – and plus, I’m among friends here (including friends who deal with their own quirky kids on a daily basis).
(Note: I myself was a pretty absent-minded child, smart on paper but not so quick to adopt the life skills, and I sometimes wonder if Ian is the male, i.e. testosterone-ized, version of me! I’m sure my mother felt like banging her head against the wall too, say, when I lost not one, nor two, but THREE watches – remember Swatches? Even now, I have to catch myself from distractedly walking the other direction when Eliza wants to chatter with me about plans for building a fort out of silkies, or throwing a birthday party for her dolls.)
It’s late, and we’re leaving for Boston to visit my parents tomorrow, so I’d better go, although with a shot of caffeine I could easily ramble on for pages more. Mercifully for my handful of readers, I’m not a coffee-drinker …


Tracee said...

I think self-doubt in parenting is a mighty big clue to how seriously we take our role as the earthly guides to these little Souls God has given into our care. I have never experienced anything in my life that made me question myself as intensely as Mothering my children has! And on the other hand, I need to remember that we are not IT for these kids. They will make it in spite of us and our worst moments and silly mistakes, you know? We made it, they will too! It's quite a balancing act, and I am always tripping over my own two feet. ;)

Jenny said...

Hope you have a good trip and that the rest of the testing goes as smoothly as the first day went. :)

I remember the red/white blocks well from my own experience with an IQ test at age 8. LOL