8-year-old G hates writing homework. And when I read the assignment to her - a Thanksgiving letter to someone special - she groans "UUUHHggghhh, why, why, why? This is stupid, I hate writing, and who am I supposed to write it to, HUH?"
Suppressing the urge to shout "HOW ABOUT YOUR MOTHER, HUH??" I calmly suggest people in her family, like grandparents, aunts or uncles, or people who have helped her, like teachers or doctors. Impatiently, she interrupts: "I know who I'm going to do, give me a pencil, get out of my way." When I ask who she's decided upon, she says "R" - her 3-year old sister. I pause.
"It needs to be a NICE letter," I say.
"OMG, I know that, Mom! Leave me alone!" she elbows me aside.
"You need THREE sentences about why she is special to you." I remind her.
"Gah! You're so annoying! Let me do this!" she shouts.
I am doubtful. It is wild kingdom in our house most of the time. Lord of the Flies. Each girl believes the other is the obstacle to her ruling the universe, and they fight like world domination is on the line for everything, all the time. What is this letter going to say?
G scribbles madly, intently. For a kid with ADHD who usually needs prompts, she is completely self-directed and focused. "There!" she declares, handing me her paper with a flourish. And here it is:
November 18th, 2009
You helped me wen I brock my arm.
You are so kind to me.
You are so frgiving and loubl.
I love you. You are the best sitr I will evr have. Love, G
My eyes are full of tears. "What is loubl, G - do you mean lovable? Or loyal?"
"I mean loubl, Mom." G pronounces it Loyable.
FIVE reasons, and a new word coined just for R. Best homework assignment ever.
Happy Thanksgiving, from our wild kingdom to yours!
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