Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Type A's and Such...

Remember the old Bing Crosby tune...

Would you like to swing on a star
carry moonbeams home in a jar
and be better off than you are
or would you rather be a mule?

A mule is an animal with long funny ears
he kicks up at anything he hears
His back is brawny but his brain is weak
he's just plain stupid with a stubborn streak
and by the way if you hate to go to school
You may grow up to be a mule

I was humming that today and thinking just how stubborn my little "mule" can be some days. Now, K.Z. is nowhere near stupid or with a weak brain, but he can be as stubborn as that mule sometimes. It made me stop and think today about his personality.

K.Z. is a typical first born child. He is a perfectionist and no way will he get anything wrong or embarrass himself by looking dumb. His entire life I have been trying to get him to relax a bit and understand that I don't care if he messes up as long as he is trying his hardest and while he really tries to maintain that attitude, I think he is doing it just to please me, not because he really believes it himself.

This was demonstrated today. I wanted him to write a letter. Just a two liner or so, something to get the feel of freestyle writing. To date the boy has never written anything that was not assigned as copy work or was not in a workbook. Knowing his regimented brain, I thought it may implode if I told him to "just write".

So we sat down to write a letter. I did not care about spelling nor punctuation, I just wanted him to write so I could see what he might do and so he could start learning about proper form in correspondence. I knew he would not let me go far, so I sat next to him to encourage him. I could see the agony of trying to come up with something to say in his letter all across his face, even as I prompted him with some short opening lines. This child is bound to be an accountant or an engineer (with a respectful nod to my father-in-law), did I mention that the boy is a whiz at Legos and his math workbook?

He wrote his letter, but asked me every 20 seconds if something he had spelled was correct. I was not falling into that trap and never really answered, "yes" or "no", I just kept saying things like, "looks great, let's do your next word."

All I wanted was for the boy to think it through and not stress over misspellings and the like (which he would majorly stress over and then give up). Afterward he reread it three times and found a mistake on his own anyway.

It made me think about how much I love the "type A's" in my life (I would classify myself as a "type A-"). K.Z. is as perfectly and wonderfully made as the rest of them and I love him for every aspect of his personality. I just have to stay clear when that mule starts kicking!

1 comment:

Susie said...

I love that song too, Angel!! I often find myself humming it when my kids complain about doing school. LOL!!

And seeing a video of it was wonderful!!