You know, I had this night all planned. Little work, little dinner, little cleaning, and a post about . . . poker!
But then the migraine hit. After a fitful nap after work, two Excedrin Migraine, and a random dinner of french green beans and a piece of peanut butter toast, I decided to postpone the cleaning and writing and read with my littlest guy.
He's in first grade now. We were reading a Dr. Suess book - usually, pretty good for this age. Lots of rhyme and repetition.
We've always read to the kids. Nearly every night since they were babies. The Dr. and I both love reading. When he's not here with me, a book warms my bed at night. My oldest son has taken up reading at bedtime too, and is involved in his own series of science fantasy.
So I found myself frustrated with my little guy. Getting him to sound out the words was a struggle. Words he should recognize by sight - couldn't remember. Words he'd just sounded out - back to square one. He'd get to the end of sounding it out - and couldn't remember how to put all the pieces back together. He'd twist and turn and play with things around him. He was obviously getting frustrated. Wasn't making easy connections.
He's not a dumb kid. He's a kid who will pull vocabulary words out of thin air. He's a kid who can draw elaborate pictures of things. He can remember occasions and places and events with uncanny detail and accuracy. All of the basic signs of intelligence are there. And he's learned so many other things. He's funny, and compassionate, and loving, and social, and a whole host of other characteristics I want my children to exhibit.
So why is this so hard? Is it because its the last thing we're doing tonight and he's tired? Is it something I failed to teach? We didn't force him to practice reading this summer - too much upheaval and change and disruption. Was that my failing? When will it all click? How do I make it click? How do I help him get there, when I know there is nothing to stop him?
I don't remember it being this hard with Number 1. I don't remember it being this hard for me. I want to be a good parent. But I'm starting to wonder, can I teach?
I feel like banging my head against the wall.