Saturday, April 13, 2013

What's the Point? Or How the Internet Rules the World

I have a confession to make: I started this blog without a clear purpose in mind. *gasp* I know! Can you believe it? I have been writing about whatever random thoughts pop into my head and feeling pretty good about it. Then the other day I came across an article about how to make your blog better. Hmmm…did I want to make my blog better? Sure! Why not? If you are going to do something, do it right, right? I think someone famous said something along those lines. I read the article and one of the tips was to define the purpose of your blog. Oh crapidy crud. To make matters worse, the second tip was to then figure out how that purpose makes you unique. Double crapidy crud.

I started to look objectively at my blog. I suppose it is a “mommy blog” since I write about my kids a lot. I try to be funny, though I hesitate to call it a “humor blog” since that makes me feel a lot of pressure to be funny. Ugh. Too hard. I decided that I am just fine without a clearly defined purpose. What does the internet know anyway? Moving on…

And I did, or so I thought. Except that I was hit with a massive case of writer’s block. Every now and then an idea would come to me and quickly be gone again. I tried so very hard to hold onto one of them. I was like a lonely little old lady trying to convince the ideas to stay awhile. “Have a seat. Can I make you something? Tea? Coffee? I have some leftover chicken nuggets I can reheat for you. No? You have to go? Can we schedule a lunch sometime? I have my calendar right here. Well, okay. You’re busy. I understand. Call me! Anytime!” Despite my best efforts I had no takers. Not a single idea stuck around long enough to form into a blog entry or even a tidbit to post on Facebook. I was going to have to figure out what I was doing with this here blog. *sigh*

Since reading that “helpful” article that caused my creative juices to congeal into a blob of unproductivity, three things have happened that I want to share with you.

First, we had Red tested and found out that he, like Eldest, has a high IQ. He is gifted.

Second, I noticed that there is a lot of confusion about what it means for a kid to be gifted.

Third, I have realized that writing helps me deal with the crazy my kids chuck at me. AND that 98.76% of their particular brand of mommy-madness-inducing shenanigans can be attributed to the fact that they have high IQs.

So, what is my purpose in writing this blog? To put it simply, my kids are wicked smaht and writing about how that messes with our family life is the only thing keeping me from going completely batshit crazy. Does this make me unique? Hmmm…maybe.

If the internet it to be believed, and I think we have already established that it is (did you not just read how the internet sapped my ability to write because I ignored its advice??!!!), a lot of moms do not tell anyone that their kid is gifted. I know that I don’t. Unless it is absolutely necessary, (for instance, if my kid is pacing in circles and flapping his arms while explaining why Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet instead of climbing on the monkeybars) I keep that tidbit to myself. Why? Because it rarely goes well.

                Other Mom: Are you going to be in the morning or afternoon preschool class next year?

                Me: Uh…um…actually, we, um, are going to have him start kindergarten next year.

                Other Mom Number 1: <brow furrows> How old is he?

Me: Well…he will only be four, but, you know, he is, um, gifted and we think he will like the challenge.

Other Mom Number 2: But he will be the youngest one in the class! Why push him?

Me: He is already reading and…uh, he WANTS to go…and…

Other Mom Number 1: You know, we thought about doing that with our older daughter.  She is super smart. And she LOVES to read. But I just couldn’t stand the thought of her leaving for college a year early.

             Me: <smile and nod>

Frankly, I don’t like to feel like a schmuck, so I have kept it to myself. But now I am done. My kids are who they are and I am so proud of the sweet and funny little people that they are. And a big part of who they are is gifted. I don’t brag about my kid’s IQ. I am too busy trying to get him to keep his socks on in public. (Gifted kids tend to have sensory issues that make them massively sensitive to things like seams and tags.) I also don’t think my kid is better than yours because he can read at a 5th grade level in kindergarten. I am too busy driving to the public library every day to pick out new books because he already read the 15 we picked out the day before.

I have two children who are “officially” gifted. As in, they were given an IQ test and they scored much higher than other kids their age. I also have a third child who, I would bet the farm, is also gifted. She is too young to test, so how can I be so sure? Because the biggest, most obvious, and most challenging part of giftedness is the behavior. Oh god help me, the behavior. <shudder> If you do not have a gifted person in your life this may surprise you. I know it surprised me. Gifted kids are NOT merely children who have a gift for the book learnin’ in the same way others are great at baseball or the violin. They have these brains that simply work differently than the rest of ours.

You may have already figured out that I hate the term “gifted.” I think it confuses the issue of what I deal with as a parent every day. So I am inventing a new term. I am calling my kids SMART. It stands for Sensitive, Mindful, Asynchronous, Resourceful, and Trying.

Sensitive: Pearl S. Buck explained this part of my kids’ personality better than I ever could. “To him... a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.” Yup, that sounds about right.

Mindful: They are hyperaware of what is going on, the moods of those around them, the tiny cupcake sprinkle on the ground, the man walking his dog we passed three blocks back…all at the same time. Red can be watching tv, looking through a book, futzing around with a toy, drinking a sip of juice, and still ask me what that weird noise is. I have learned not to argue anymore. He really can hear the dehumidifier in the basement kick on with all of that other business going on.

Asynchronous: This explains how my son can add fractions, but can’t tie his shoe. My Baby Girl has a huge vocabulary, but she is not walking. SMART kids are not able to do everything early or well. You should see Eldest try to throw a ball. It hurts Mommy to watch.

Resourceful: Think “outside the box?” There is no box able to contain their thoughts. If they had a box at one point, they broke it down, carved it into little pieces, and used the shreds of cardboard to build a spaceship that was actually able to orbit the Earth, but did not survive reentry, so they decided that maybe next time they should use a non-paper-based product.

Trying: It is tough raising kids. I have never heard anyone say different. They try your patience and your sanity. SMART kids do all of the usual things like dump LEGOs all over the floor and wrestle in the kitchen while I am trying to make a meal they won’t eat. They also test my intelligence. I think all kids go through the “knock-knock joke” stage where they tell you joke after horrible joke. My Eldest wants me to explain why each one is funny or not. Can you tell me why a joke is funny? Yeah. Think about that.

There. I did it! I defined a focus for this blog: Mom barely holds on to sanity through sharing the ridiculous, and often not-talked-about, side of raising SMART kids. Are you happy internet? Did I maybe earn some bonus points for creating the acronym? Now can you please remove the block in my head and let the ideas party again? Because the boys just got the ants for their ant farms in the mail and I think I am going to need an outlet to deal with that debacle waiting to happen.



Teri Biebel said...

Can't tell you how happy I am to see you posting again!! Good luck with the kids, LOVE the acronym. Screw you, internet!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! As mom to a SMART now teenager, I applaud your coming out of the "Gifted" closet and look forward to reading more of your posts on parenting and the craziness it brings to life. To heck with the internet, btw...blogging can be random and wonderful at the same time. All it takes is writing skills which you have Ma'am!

Anonymous said...

Found you from the Honest Voices linkup. Good stuff you have going on here. You have a new follower. Looking forward to reading more. :)

Debbie said...

Hey, I'm popping in from Honest Mom Link up. I always cringe when I read things about a blog needing a niche or a definition. I say why? or SAYS WHO!!? I say your blog can be anything you want it to be. In fact, blogs that are niche-less are my favorites to read. Because they are all over the place. Sort of like my brain.

monochromewillow said...

Found your blog on the Honest Mom blog, loved this entry. I can see how calling your children "gifted" could be seen as bragging or get awkward. But I say, let's not homogenize everyone by hiding their talents, so as not to make others feel bad. I am very interested to read about your super smart kids!