I feel as if I have been going through a particularly reclusive period. The energy required for the interactions with people is just too great. So I wait in the car for the children instead of going in to wait outside their classrooms. I let Daniel talk to people if someone goes somewhere or one of their friends comee to our house. I give people his phone number when I am required to give a number for something. It worries me sometimes that people will think I am rude or uninterested in them but I don’t know what I can do about that. I need my insulation, isolation, and I guess if people don’t like that then I don’t really want to talk to them when I poke my head out of my shell.
I have been scolded for not recording some of the kid-isms that I relate to my mother ;P So here are a few:
A little while ago they started school banking at Abigail and Kristian’s school. Each time they make a deposit they get a reward token and recently they both had enough tokens to choose a reward. Kristian got a calculator. He’s incredibly pleased with it. He likes to do random calculations and then come and show you the result. He asks what a number is and I have to translate it to words for him… Eighty-seven million, six hundred and fifty-four thousand, three hundred and twenty-one. Sometimes he ends up with tiny decimals or exponent answers and I just tell him it’s either a really big number or a really small number. When he first got it, he was generous enough to allow each of us to have a turn using his calculator. Usually I will try out the π button or the x² buttons if I am just messing with a calculator but because his is just a basic one, it doesn’t have those buttons. In that case, I improvise. 22 ÷ 7. I gave him back his calculator. “What is that?” he asks me. “Pi,” I tell him. “It’s a special number. If you have a piece of string that is from the middle of a circle to the outside, and then you wrap it around the outside of the circle, you will need that many of them to go all the way around – a bit more than three.” I could see him and Abigail considering this a moment, and then they both agreed that it was “Cool.”
A couple of days later I heard Kristian talking to Stephanie about his calculator. He’d paid attention to the way I got pi to show on the screen and took pleasure in coming to show me sometimes that he knew how to do that now. He showed Stephanie, and she asked him what it was. I’m certain I heard him roll his eyes as he answered her. “It’s pi!” (Duh! Don’t you learn anything in grade 7?) Then he explained to her how you got it to show on the screen. He is very much like me in that he only needs to hear information like that once and he will retain it forever. Obviously he hasn’t yet learned that most people’s brains don’t work the same way. I know I’ve talked to Stephanie about pi before and explained what the use of it is, but it hasn’t been important enough for her to commit it to memory. Kristian assumes that because he has learned about something, Stephanie should know it because she is older than him and should therefore have encountered this information before. And having encountered it, it should be stored in her brain.
It is interesting to see how children assume that their experience of the world is ‘normal’ and the same as what everyone else experiences, and then realising as they learn more that it is not necessarily the case.