In which we talk about books.

So it’s no longer news where my interest lies and I’m trying to find which of the kids has the seriousness of wanting to follow my footsteps. Dave is quite clear about what he wants to do. Art is his thing. He spends more time talking about telling stories than actually writing them. Zaram is following Dave’s footsteps, the only time he is quiet is either when he is watching cartoons or drawing. So I’m left with Michael.

Michael is a little tricky. You know the proverbial jack of all trades? He actually wants to be a ‘technologist’ ¬†but he also loves cooking. Plus he has been saying he will be Nigeria’s youngest author since he turned 12. Oh well, I’m not telling him he won’t be (hehehe)

So, I came across this news item. Little girl, who had read over 1000 books at the age of 4. Michael wanted to know how she could have done it. Well, my theory is that she probably started reading about age 2 and reads more than a book every day. And then I say, ‘you should be reading lots of books too’.

He turns to me and goes ‘naa watching tv is better.’ Before I can recover with a good enough retort he goes, ‘besides, watching tv is like reading.’

‘No,’ I respond.’It’s not the same.’

‘But it leads to the same thing,’ he insists.

‘No it doesn’t,’ I respond. Michael is such a pain.

‘Look at it this way,’ he says pointedly. ‘Someone writes the story, the actors read the lines and then read it to me when they say it. See they are reading to me and when I listen, I’m reading too.”

I think I’m getting too old for these kids. Speaking of old, they have finally stopped calling me old. According to Michael, ‘that line is old’.



In Which I Reassure Zaram That He is Very Special

*Enters blog with a long broom,  begins to clear off cobwebs from the roof and walls.

Dave stands outside, ¬†arms akimbo watching; Zaram stands with him a questioning expression on his face; Michael ventures in, “Mum, ¬†can I help?” I dodge a gross cobweb and cough slightly, “You can get a broom and start sweeping from that end”. Michael hurries off.

“How long is this gonna take?”

That was Zaram of course, “I wanna watch TV.”

I ignore him and keep cleaning. ¬†No way I’m posting anything without cleaning this pace out first.*

It’s been two years since I posted anything on this blog. ¬†Soooooooo much has happened. For one thing, ¬†the boys have all grown into adolescence and teens. ¬†I can confidently predict mostly how each would react to a given situation (well, ¬†most of the time). Dave is choosing his own path. And his brothers are trying to find theirs. Dave wants to be a comic artist. ¬†I shared one of his characters on my Twitter and most people thought it was awesome. What do you think?

But this post is not about Dave, ¬†it’s about Zaram ‚ėļ who is currently in secondary school and is working so hard at his reading. If you ever had trouble pronouncing basic words when all your mates were reading fluently, ¬†you’d understand his struggles.ūüėě But this is not a sad post.¬†

So the other day Zaram was being… well, Zaram. ¬†I got tired of the screaming from the room and Dave threatening to “murder” him as older brothers are wont. ¬†So I asked him to come out of the room and sit in the living room with me (more for his personal safety than my need for company). ¬†Anyway, he joins me and becomes such a distraction that I ask him to go pick out a book from the library, ¬†read two paragraphs and write down any words he does not know.¬†

He gets to work and soon, ¬†I abandon my writing project as we begin working together on a reading session. He eventually makes a nine-word list which he ends up pronouncing almost by himself. In working with him, ¬†I have found that he needs extra concentration to get words right. ¬†And concentration is not a commodity he enjoys trading on. He’ll be first to say “I’m bored” or “I can’t do it” ¬†or “It’s too hard”.

At the end of the session, I saw he was strained and drained and I decided a pep talk was totally in order.

“Do you know you are special?” I began.

He shakes his head,  looking at the floor.

“Look at me, ¬†look into my eyes.”

He looks up and into my eyes.

“Let me tell you why you are special.”

I proceeded to remind him of how he overcame every milestone in his life: holding his head straight, ¬†crawling, ¬†walking, ¬†running, ¬†talking, ¬†holding a pencil, ¬†writing and now he is reading (yeah it still needs a bit of work but oh gloray, he can string words and stop to think what it means and try to use context to figure out words he can’t say. I know he is on the right path)

“Do you understand now why I say you are special?”

He looks at me, ¬†smiles that mischievous smile and nods. ¬†I reward him with a hug (Yeah, ¬†still not a hugger but neither am I a nurse, ¬†cook, ¬†cleaner, ¬†counselor…yeah you get my drift)

I let him go and join his brothers hoping they will be at peace long enough so I can finish writing the treatment I am working on.

*Sits to rest after cleaning, ¬†Dave saunters in carrying his drawing materials and heads into his room. ¬†Zaram steps in sneezing, ¬†“Mum can we put on the gen?” I reward with a scowl (This boy does not understand fuel is now N145/litre) He reads my look and moves on. ¬†Michael turns to me, ¬†“Mum can I make pancakes? Pleaaaaaase???”*


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