You’ll have to forgive me. I am proving yet again that I’m just too boring a person to have a blog.
Actually, a lot happened to me in these last two weeks, it’s just that very little of it was related to game development. My son David started school last week.
I guess it’s time for me to come clean about my son. He has a mental problem of some sort; we’re not quite sure what it is. The best guess is mild autism. It took him a long time to learn to talk and it took us forever to get him potty trained.
Side story: My wife and I finally got fed up when he turned three and wasn’t potty trained yet. We decided one night to just sit him down on his training potty and not let him get up until he went in it. We both had to sit there and make sure he didn’t run away; it was frustrating for everyone involved though we tried our best to keep it positive. Eventually, David pointed at my wife and said, “YOU change the diaper!” which I think is the first complete sentence we ever heard him say. My wife and I were very surprised, but we recovered and told him, “No, David, you’re a big boy now, no more diapers.” While we didn’t get him to go that night, it was definitely the breakthrough experience for him because he started going in the potty regularly just a few days after that, to our great relief.
The interesting thing is that he learns new stuff every single day. He just turned five about a month ago and he just started kindergarten, but he knows all his shapes, all his colors, what colors combine to make other colors, his entire alphabet, all his numbers at least up to twenty, and even all his planets (I haven’t had the heart to tell him about Pluto). He also draws better than I’ve ever seen a five-year-old draw – when he draws eyes, he actually draws ovals and then puts pupils in them, and both eyes are always looking in the same direction. So it’s kind of frustrating that we can’t seem to get him to understand that he needs to put his pants back on when he’s done using the bathroom.
If he didn’t have the social problems he has, he would definitely be considered a bright child. But it’s impossible to have a conversation with him. If you ask him a question, the odds are good that he will simply repeat the question back to you instead of answering it. He uses words to make himself understood, but it’s usually just one word or a short phrase (“Drink!” “Hot dogs!” “Blue’s Clues!”). Despite our best efforts, we haven’t been able to get him to understand the concept of “not yours” or the concept of “dangerous”. He has actually gotten out of the house a couple of times by waking up before anyone else and figuring out how to unlock the front door – we finally had to put a double-deadbolt on the front door (so that you need a key to get in AND to get out) in order to put a stop to that, because no matter what kind of latch we put on the door he figured out a way to unlatch it, and no matter what we put in front of the door he figured out a way to move it. Needless to say, that was a very scary time for us.
Now he’s started kindergarten. We told his teacher before he started that he was going to be a handful. Fortunately, she realized right away that she was going to need some help with him. The special education teachers examined him and were very surprised at everything he knew (especially when he started drawing). They’re actually excited to work with him. It’s obvious that David learns very easily, it’s just a matter of teaching these concepts to him in ways that he can understand. They believe that there’s a good chance they can get him caught up socially this year, so that when he starts first grade next year he’ll be able to go to a normal class.
You have no idea how relieved I was to hear them say that.
And fortunately, our youngest doesn’t appear to be having the same problems David did.