Isaac lately


1. Isaac came home with a goodie bag a few days ago. There was clearly a birthday party at school and I set about trying to figure out who’s birthday it was. So first I asked him: “Who’s birthday was it?” no answer. Grrr. He was getting set up for his daily home-from-school-10-minutes-of-video-game-reward-for-staying-in-his-seat-on-the-bus. “Isaac? Who’s birthday was it?” Nothing. By now he has the iPad. “Isaac, was it a girl birthday or a boy birthday?” “boy birthday.” Ok! Now we are getting somewhere! “Which boy?” I rattled off the names of his four male classmates. Nothing. “Isaac, if you don’t tell me who’s birthday it was, I’m taking the iPad away!” nothing. “Isaac!” So I take away the iPad and he’s crying and whining asking for it back. “NO! Who’s birthday was it??” I rattle off the list of names again. and Isaac quietly says “the third one.” “Jeremy? It was Jeremy’s birthday?” “yeah.” “well, okay.” I give him back the iPad, satisfied at getting an answer and stunned about how stubborn Isaac is!

2. Isaac LOVES consonants and vowels right now. He makes lists of them. He interrogates us about which vowels we have in our names. He calls them “our vowels”. Sorting through his magnetic letters he’ll say “let’s find our vowels”. And just when I thought he’d gotten as far as could go with vowel-consonents last night he pushed it a little further. “Mommy! I have odd vowels and even consonants!” Meaning…he has an odd number of vowels in his name (3) and an even number of consonants (2). Now he’s analyzing all of our names for the odd/even vowel/consonant break down. How tidy of us humans to make these categories for our letters and numbers!  Isaac definitely appreciates it! :)

3. I’ve been trying to teach Isaac that the first two months of the year are *really* called “Hug-uary and Snug-uary”. But he insists on sticking with the traditional “January” and “February”. We can get into quite heated arguments about it which leaves him belly-laughing like crazy. :) I do like the sound of Hug-uary 24th. Last night he switched it up. He kept with “January”, but said that today is “January 24th Hug-thousand and fourteen.” I can get into that!

4. When I was sick last week I felt like I couldn’t connect with Isaac. My whole brain felt foggy and Andrew, with his chatter, was easily able to penetrate the fog. But Isaac wasn’t. I didn’t feel like doing our regular snuggling, wrestling ways of connection, so for many days I worried about Isaac and felt like I couldn’t connect with him. HOW is he doing? But now we are back on track. Snuggling and wrestling and joking up a storm.

5. We had a snow day a few days ago, and although schools were open, attendance rates across the city were 47%. I’m guessing the kids that ride busses had an even lower percentage of attendance. But, as I from Vermont, I bundled up my kids and shipped them off to school. :) When they got home Isaac got out paper and crayons and wrote 1+7=8 and showed it to me as though saying “see???” “What is this Isaac?” He’s made these equations before to show me his class attendance statistics, but I wasn’t sure that that’s what this was. So upon asking him about it, I discover that’s EXACTLY what it was. On the snow day there was ONE kid in his class and SEVEN absent! And HE was the only one there! Oh my!

6. Yesterday my sister emailed me asking for a link to the video of Isaac saying the alphabet backwards. (it’s here if you want to see it) I showed it to Isaac to see if he could still do it. He hasn’t done it in a while and sure enough! He can. He was a little rusty, but at his second go-round, he was all smooth sailing Z-Y-Xing. Then I asked Andrew to do it and he couldn’t. “I think I need some training.” He assessed. :) ha!


And all this is to say that “borderline mentally retarded” certainly doesn’t mean “dumb”. (it doesn’t mean that for ANYONE) He’s not testing at that level anymore and that label doesn’t fit him anymore…but honestly I am grateful for the time it did because it changed my life in ways I don’t regret. Isaac is my mysterious beautiful poet of a crazy kid. That’s likely the best label we’ve been able to nail down to date. ;)  I have a whole lot more to say about the term “mental retardation”, it’s history, how it’s changing to “developmentally disabled” and “intellectual disability”.  But for now I just want to point out that it’s a label that DOES say something, doesn’t say everything and is extremely complex. :)

We have big plans this weekend which I am looking forward to.  Hope yours is a lovely one!

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About robyn

I stopped teaching Kindergarten in 2005 to become the mom of two crazy boys here in Brooklyn. At first I thought being a stay at home mom meant that I needed to pour all my time and energy directly into my sons, but I realized somewhere along the way that being a rockstar mom meant not only taking good care of my boys, but also taking good care of myself. And taking good care of myself means pursuing something creative...just about everyday. I started Made In Brooklyn to motivate myself in my creative goals as well as share my work with others and perhaps inspire them in their own creative journeys.
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