This week started with Pickle’s teacher highlighting the fact that Pickle “isn’t quite where he should be in terms of his reading”…and yes he is only 5. I shan’t start quoting the statistics and findings of our Scandinavian friends at this stage The tone of slightly twisted bitterness is actually sugared with a sprinkling of gratitude for her bringing this issue to my attention.
As we parents know, raising children brings such huge responsibilities, but somehow – to me anyway – the job of bringing up an adopted child seems to be just that bit bigger; often generating that feeling of, ‘Am I really the best person for this vastly important job?’
Granted, the past 2 years have been primarily focussed on Pickle’s security, stability and his challenging behaviours (don’t you just love that expression). I have been complacent; I have been a Naughty-Step-Nazi; I have admittedly pushed his learning to the back of the what’s-most-important queue.
So now I am left with yet another feeling of inadequacy but not one which is insurmountable (at least I hope not), with (a lot of) time and effort. Nope……Not inadequacy over Pickle’s slow progress, but rather over my own personal lack of creativity, my lack of patience and my general ‘can’t-be-arsedness’.
I took the easy option. I went to school. I played the ‘I’m-just-no-good-at-this-sort-of-thing’ card and I got me a pitiful face, and a list of games and ‘helpful resources’.So here I sit armed with websites and leaflets and bingo sheets in an attempt to focus the attention of the least focussed child in Pickledom. I have printed off worksheets. I have stuck words on doors around the house. I have my ‘dabber’ at the ready. I am literally about to hothouse my 5-year old…did I say he was 5? I am literally about to stick another label smack on the head of my adopted, behaviourally-challenged 5-year old.
No chance. You know why? Because he’s bloody clever, he’s also incredibly bloody-minded. He’ll get there, but it will be on his terms and when he’s ready. I reckon that’s a strength of character to be hothoused (just until he’s 6, of course!).
In the meantime, I’m arming myself with cuddles….