Saturday, January 09, 2010

Confident Kid

The Monkey is participating in Odyssey of the Mind this year. There's no real competition at the second grade level, but they go through the full process with the full rules as kind of a practice-run. It's a great program and he's all kinds of excited about it. His group's problem is to create a character and plan a surprise party for that character for an unusual reason. They decided on their theme ("Becoming a Wizard") and he was feeling a little down because the team didn't choose one of his play-on-words characters (I did hear that "Napkin Thunderglance" got big props though).

To help give his self-esteem a boost and get him back involved with the project, I turned him loose on Power Point to do some brainstorming. He loves making slide shows, so I suggested that he experiment with three different ways that someone might have become a wizard. He struggled with it a little and complained to me that google images didn't have a sufficient listing of photos for his search of "confident kid." When it was time for him to shut down, he had about 10 photos and three slides worth of a story.

But the story! I mean, I know the Monkey has a pretty large vocabulary...and the child reads all the time...but it wasn't until it was right there in front of me that I could see just how impressively wordy my son is. Bearing in mind that he's 7 and that this is just the start of the story, have a little look at Exhibit A (which I've copied and pasted exactly as it appeared in his Power Point):

A little boy was walking and when he got home things looked very different a strange

Person was there “hello” he said “h-he-hello”he stammered “the names merlin” he said”m-my n-name is g-george” he said why are you here!!!!!!!!”he said regaining all his confidence “calm down son” said merlin

George tried and tried but could not calm down ” WHY ARE YOU HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” george yelled but then after merlin told him why he was there he started to calm down

I was, to put it bluntly, shocked. It's not just the fact that the vocabulary seems to be way outside the realm of your normal 7-year-old ("regained"...really??)...but the fact that, quite honestly, I want to know what happens next! What did Merlin say? I can hardly wait! Of course, me being me (and tending toward the dramatic, to put it mildly), I showered him with compliments and encouragement. He was all but floating when he went to bed that night.

This was my first week of grad school and the Monkey's first week of his Occupational Therapy program. My budget exhibits were due yesterday and I've got a presentation for a Career Day program at work Tuesday that I haven't started. The Monkey starts piano lessons this morning and he's asked to participate in a 6-week "Get Fit" conditioning program through the school. With so much going on, it's pretty easy (and some might say justifiable) to feel overwhelmed...

...but then these little moments show up to remind me that maybe things are going to be ok. Maybe we're actually better than we've given ourselves credit for. Maybe, even though we both feel like screaming sometimes, we'll both be able to face whatever is waiting for us by channeling our inner "confident kid."


Jason said...

Oh, man, I *loved* OM in middle school!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder to listen to the inner "confident kid"...that just makes my day!

Helen said...

I did OM in elementary school, middle school, AND [nerd alert] high school. LOVED it. Actually, we went to the world competition one of my years in high school - it was so much fun.