Monday, May 19, 2008

You're not listening

How many times have you said that to a friend or a spouse or a family member?

I was told it no less then 5 times this past weekend. Were they right? I honestly don't know. At some point I think you get so comfortable with people (this case being my mom and my sister -- seriously -- can you be uncomfortable with them? I know I can't.) and maybe you do stop listen. Or maybe you hear the same refrain 100 times, that it gets old and you assume you know what is coming next.

I have 3 nieces. The middle one is like me (this is not meant to be a brag). She is so smart that she is bored out of her mind at school. She is supposed to be a grade behind where she is now -- but before she started kindergarten, my sister had her tested by the school. I believe she tested on the 4th grade level for math and the 3rd grade level for reading, but this was many years ago and I may be wrong (did you get that -- a 5 year old testing at a 10 year old level! Freak genius I tell you).

B had a similar fate with school -- utter boredom because he was too smart. I think that is a reason B and I get along because not many people get it. They think bored at school means dumb. Fortunately for me, I was stimulated outside of the class room by books -- hi, read Roots in 1 afternoon when I was 13 -- but B wasn't. B was just bored and he became lazy. Why work at it when it comes so easy. This is a man who slept through AP calculus and passed with flying colors (got an A in the class too), but never even finished his associates degree because even college was boring to him.

Anyways, The Saint sometimes calls me to figure out how to deal with the middle one. Personality-wise she is a smart mouth little brat -- just like I was when I was that age, or maybe even to this day. I don't say that because I don't love her. If anything, I feel the closest to her because I GET her. I do not get her oldest sister or her baby sister. Both are good at their own things, but aren't freakish geniuses like the middle one is.

Needless to say, this history lesson is because The Saint is having some problems with the middle one. Spelling problems, not doing the homework and then the trigger ... "well the TEACHER..." I think I did stop listening there. Blame the teacher, blame the doctor, blame everyone else in the world rather then take responsibility for it yourself.

I am not saying that The Saint does that, I am just saying I feel like I hear that refrain so freaking often that I probably did stop listening to what she said. Between message boards, neighbors and friends, if it isn't one thing, it is another and of course it is NEVER EVER the parents fault. I have got to get over getting pissed about that.

I don't think she wanted advice, just wanted to vent, and after I walked away from the situation I was able to rationally look at it again and think "this is my NIECE, not my child. This is NOT my problem -- it is The Saints problem and SHE needs to deal with it and I need to just keep my mouth shut." My walking away this time, was the best thing I did. Normally I walk away and I am done and I continue to get worked up and pissed off. This time I realized that while I need the walk away part, I did so without continuing to get worked up. If I stayed I would have just argued for arguments sake. I don't mind a verbal battle and will do it everyday of the week, but that wasn't what was needed in this situation.

So, if I am over this, why am I writing... I don't know really. I got to thinking about it and wondering about different things -- is this a family order thing or just a case of me not listening or a case of me jumping to conclusions. Needless to say -- what would you do to an 8+ year old who lies to her parents about not having homework, doesn't have any consequences from her teacher and is so smart that she is bored in school? I don't know the naturally consequences in this situation.

1 comment:

crazy beautiful mom! said...

Well I think being able to zone out another is part of being a sibling. My brother is actually the only person I can do that to! HAHAHA and it's always been one of my best qualities :)

P.S. I totally agree about the being bored in school, I was put in Gifted classes in 1st grade. When I moved to another school district with no classes like that, school became horrible for me! I hated it, and I realized the smart kids were most of the trouble makers lol