The Magic of Numbers

It's so difficult to know what Micah is learning in school. Sure, there are the papers that come home showing me that his aide helps him match up a set of eight shapes to the number eight, but how much does he grasp of that? There are the daily papers where he's working on writing his name. I do see improvement in that area, and he even attempts to write it himself on occasion, completing the H enough to be able to tell what it is. Each week he learns a new letter of the alphabet, for the fourth year in a row, yet when asked to choose which letter out of a line-up of three or four, his success rate averages about 50%. The cognitive delays are directly blamed on the Down syndrome, but the fact that the boy hates school work and refuses to apply himself doesn't help in the least. Couple that with good old-fashioned bullheadedness and you've got a combination that is nearly impossible to teach.

Don't get me wrong; the boy is brilliant. He can operate the TV and DVD player, fast forwarding and rewinding to find just the right parts of his movie. He knows which VHS tape he wants to watch just by looking at the unboxed video. He knows exactly how to wrap me around his tiny pinky finger no matter the situation. And his problem solving skills are unequaled by even his 12 year old brother.

But still, will he ever know how to count? Will he ever learn his alphabet, much less be able to read? And without these skills, what kind of future will he have? I'm his mom; I have a right to worry about these things.

And then, in true Micah fashion, he smacks me upside the head and tells me not to worry because he's got it all covered.

The boy's television watching skills are honed to a finer degree than any man I've ever seen, and I've seen my share of TV-watching men. The right movie, fast forwarded to that particular scene, with the house lights adjusted accordingly, and the volume at just the right pitch. It's an art.

And we have the nerve to step in and adjust the volume. For some reason, the television broadcasts videos much louder than it does televised shows. An adjustment needs to be made in order for the family to be able to converse over the din. Micah is not cool with that, of course, because you're messing with his art medium. We got smart and started turning the volume down when he's not looking. (The volume is on a numbered system that displays at the bottom of the screen, so he KNOWS if we're messing with his noise levels.) If I was caught adjusting things, I would get around the fact by turning the volume back up and then back down, because as long as he saw the adjustment being made he was happy.

And then the boy got smart on me. He learned his numbers. He knows that he wants that volume somewhere around 12, and if there is a number displayed below that he is not a happy child. No amount of faux adjusting in my part will pacify him because he knows his numbers. We did not send him to school all these years for nothing, apparently.

Only that child can warm my heart and produce steam from my ears simultaneously.


Karen said...

I am seriously beginning to wonder if your sweet Micah and My Son are kindred spirits.

BTW, I have never seen a cuter Buzz Lightyear.

ParkerMama said...

Your kid sounds so very much like my kid. :D

Flea said...

Your boy really has a thing for Toy Story, huh? :)

Sounds kinda like when our kids learn to spell and we can't spell out i-c-e- c-r-e-a-m anymore. Dang.

caramama said...

So he's learning, he just needs to be motivated to apply what he learns. TV has always made great motivation for me, so I can't blame him in this area!

Chicory Blue said...

It sounds like Micah is more motivated to learn/show off his skills when it means something to him. If he wants to watch toy story-and the Tv needs to be set on channel 2..have him find it. He can help set the table and count out the correct number of forks needed forks...etc. and I bet he can count how many woody's he has. Maybe he would like to learn to spell Woody's name. More letters to learn.
He is the smart one-he knows how to "not show" how smart he is-because after all-we would then just give him more work.
(Who can't ever turn off her "work" mind.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how they figure those things out?! Cooper has become a pro at figuring out when his favorite cartoon comes on or how to pull up the 'Extras' on DVDs to play the animated shorts and such. And, how cute is Buzz Lightyear?!

JennyH said...

Max has the same skill on anything technical. the TV's, DVD's. Wii, DVR, cable box, CD's.... He figures out in no time. My others always ask for help. So my theory on this.. Since Max can't come to me and ask for help doing something specific, he takes time to figure it all out by himself. Maybe Micah is the same?

Sounds like he does in fact know his numbers! I think the wrapping you around his little finger as something to do with this! Max can make you think he doesn't know something but I know he does. This is more so with my hubby, Who probably thinks he doesn't know much but I know better!

He'll learn it all in Micah time!

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Oh sweetest Buzz Lightyear, my heart beats for thee...

Roger said...

I wonder if there is a way to take away those numbers? Better yet, a way to take away the numbers without Micah knowing? Otherwise, you might need to invest in some good ear protection. :-)