This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ponito's project

If you noticed that I hardly ever post anything about Ponito except for his amazing hugs, that's because he is such a laid back, easygoing kid. I remember when he was a baby and I frequently had to remind myself that he was there (not a problem with Bob!). I feel like I've been whining a lot lately so I thought this time I'd post about my baby!

He is smart (started reading and doing first grade level math at age 4), athletic (he walked at 7.5 months and is incredibly coordinated), happy (usually smiling and in a good mood unless he's sick, hungry or tired), friendly (he's always running around with the guys, but has also been "married" 7 times since he was 3 years old!), easygoing (I was actually happy the day he finally fought back after Bob had been picking on him for years) and loving (he runs up to me with a hug and a big "Mommy!!" every morning and after school. At 10, he is the youngest in the family and has no teenage hormones making him insane!

I don't know what I'll do when he tries to leave the nest! (Is it stalking if you're the mom?)

Yesterday though he reminded me that he's only 10.

You see he's had this science fair project that he's been working on for months. He'd decided that it would be about whether or not rechargeable or regular batteries lasted longer in an RC car... but he doesn't have any RC cars. I reminded him of this several times early on in the project and suggested he talk to Hubby or Poppy (Grandma's husband who is also an engineer)... but he didn't.

Apparently he's been working through the steps, keeping up with the class - including a three page paper with references about the background information, a materials list, procedures/ steps for how the experiment would work, a hypothesis... everything but doing the actual experiment. At the beginning of Winter Break the teacher sent an e-mail reminding the class that the experiment needed to be done and the conclusions written by today (Friday). Ponito assured me he had it under control, and I'm not one of those Mamas that do kids' homework for them. He's old enough to deal with the consequences.

So Monday night (the last day of Winter Break), Ponito talked to Hubby who broke the news that we would not be buying him a pair of RC cars for this project. I'd suggested using flashlights weeks ago, so apparently that's what he decided to do. Hubby generously allowed Ponito to use one of Hubby's dive lights for the project (there are NEVER working flashlights in our house). But there was only one light. Ponito popped a couple of rechargeable batteries in it, turned on the stopwatch on his watch, and waited for the batteries to run out. He couldn't leave it on overnight in case the batteries died when he wasn't there to watch it. He couldn't take it to school. So the batteries didn't burn out very fast.

Yesterday, out of the goodness of my heart, I decided to take the watch to work with me and keep an eye on it. Apparently when stopping the watch when I went into Bear's school to attend a meeting, I accidentally cleared the time! *eek!* Then I left it on my desk when I went home for the day. I immediately apologized to Ponito as soon as I realized, and he took it very well. I asked Ponito when it was due.

That's when Ponito realized that the results of his test were due the next day, and the first set of batteries had taken over 24 hours to burn out (still hadn't actually). There was no way he could finish the project in time. Being Ponito he didn't get that upset, or blame others, or throw a tantrum, or quit (that's one reason I love me some Ponito!). Ponito's friend suggested he do a quick experiment instead. Made sense to me, so we pulled up some ideas on the internet.

Ponito found an experiment about separating salt, sugar and pepper with static electricity (here). It looked easy and we only had to borrow one ingredient (pepper, which I hate!). He got to play with a balloon and make his hair do silly things. It was easy and fun. When he asked to go play at his friends' house afterward I said sure as long as he cleaned up. I asked if he had to do a write up of his results, and he said it was just a paragraph and he could do it later.

Fast forward 3 hours. I asked Ponito for some more details and that's when I discovered that since he had chosen a whole new topic he had to completely redo all the work he'd done - including the 3-5 page background paper! It's now 7:30pm and his bedtime is 9!

So I helped him.

No, I did not write/do it for him! Mama don't roll like dat! I did type it for him, but I typed what he told me, including the fact that "electrons move 'woo woo woo' around the atom nucleus." We found several reference articles on static electricity at his level which he had to read - so much for this being an easy project! Then I helped him understand the articles (they started with what atoms were and ended with Coulomb's Law and the Triboelectric series!). I can safely say that he understands the concept well enough to explain it to his class in words they would understand.

2 and a half hours after his bedtime we finally finished. I have to say I'm proud of him for sticking with it and finishing - even though he was dead on his feet. I suggested several times that he just explain to the teacher what happened and ask for an extension until Monday, but he was insistant we finish. I know it was his fault he waited so long and then he had to start over, and that he started so late in the day because he wanted to play with his friend, but I honestly believe he didn't realize he was going to have to rewrite the whole thing or that it would take so long. I'm actually pretty proud of him.

Electrons going "woo woo woo" around the nucleus.

1 comment:

Mom 4 Kids said...

He sounds precious! BTW thanks for the tip for Miss M with the b and d bed thing. I showed her and she said, "cool!"