Sunday, April 13, 2008

If You Read This Backwards It Says "Paul is Dead"

A's to-do list for this weekend was written completely backwards. Perfect mirror-writing. From left to right, all the letters backwards, too. If you turned it upside down, it looked like the letters were facing the right way, but I knew it was upside down because "waic up" was on the bottom and that's always first on his list.

"Sweetie, I really want you to practice your letters so we can all read what you write." (A friend suggested telling him, "Not everyone has a mirror.")

"But then it wouldn't be my writing."

"Yes, it would - you'd still be writing it, wouldn't you?"

"No, my writing is all crazy and it wouldn't be all crazy then."

Yay. Now backwards writing has become part of his identity. His teacher's gonna love this.

I'm getting a little worried, because it's not like he just mixes up his b's and d's. Any letter than can be backwards is usually backwards, and sometimes, I'll ask him to write an "e" and really try to make sure it's facing the right way and he'll very carefully write it backwards. It doesn't seem to affect his reading, though, so I don't think it's dyslexia. And I read that even if kids do it through 3rd grade, it always corrects itself when they learn cursive. No one writes cursive backwards. But that's 3 long years of reading-his-backwards-writing away.


The other night, G and I were having some private time behind our closed bedroom door after the boys went to bed. A. was still awake, though, and knocked on the door. G. stuck his head out and said, "What can we do for you, A?"
A. answered, "I'm going to shut the door to my room so I can have some peace and quiet!" For the record, we are NOT loud.

He's already a crotchety old man at 5 years old.


We also had a date last night and went to the hot tubs. Mmmm. Except G. kept trying to make it quality time and talk to me. It reminded me of when A. was three months old and we took our first overnight trip to Yosemite. We stayed in this awesome motel with super-deep jetted bathtubs. G. kept trying to coax A. to sleep so he could join me in the tub, but when he tried to climb in with me, I was all, "I have a deep, hot tub all to myself with no one touching me. Get out of here and wait your turn."

Anyway, the tubs were nice and relaxing and I finally opened my eyes and deigned to speak with my husband. We had sushi afterwards and were home before 8pm. Wild nights, y'all.


This has been a trying parenting week. Between A. going all backwards on us, in writing and in sports (did I mention he's refusing to play soccer now, too?) and Ben's lack of pooping action, I'm glad no one offered to buy them from me because I think I would have considered most offers.

Ben gets this particularly annoying thing going on where he gets our attention by saying, "I want my sock off!" When we take his sock off, he cries, "I want my sock on!" Fine, I think at first, sometimes I change my mind, too. But as soon as I put it back on, it's "I want it off!"

"OK, I'm not playing this game."

"But I want my sock off!"

"Then take it off."

"But I caaaaaaan't!" By now he's wailing.

And so on. I usually ignore him and mumble through gritted teeth, "I'm not playing this game." Then he gets hysterical. He does it with his bed quilt too - on, off, on, off. Or with Rocket's lid - on, off, on, off. Or with food - "I want grapes, I don't want grapes, NO! I want grapes! I don't want any grapes. NO DON'T EAT MY GRAPES THOSE ARE MY GRAPES! I don't want those grapes."

And it's all done with a whine....oh, god, the whining. Something about this game really gets under my skin and sometimes I have to leave the room. As a therapist, I recognize it as a externalization of his ambivalence and the difficulty he's having working through the anal stage of development, ala Freud. As a mother, I want him to shut the f*ck up. Especially when he pulls it between 4-6pm, which is prime Mommy Dearest time for me.

Most of the time, the answer is to distract him with something totally different. I'm lucky that he's pretty easily detoured. Not like Stubborn Boy over there wanting some peace and quiet. Pssssshhh.


Anonymous said...

Our Oldest wrote entire sentences backwards, and would then read them normally, as though there was nothing wrong with them for an entire year (6-7). Still haven't quite figured out why, but 6 years later and her writing is normal. Weird Kids.

Beastarzmom said...

yep - every teacher I've ever talked to says ignore the backwards letters. They seem to self-resolve. (worry-wise - I still see current teacher writing over it facing it the correct way)
Of course, I don't know if the 18y/o ever resolved cuz I've never been able to read his writing. oh well.

template by