Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Life with Stow, 2016 Version, Part 2 (How to Survive a Little Brother)

As a kid with sensory and social issues, Sky has always found it a little hard to manage life with two younger siblings. It's worse when you have a kid brother like Stow who just seems to like to stir things up for fun. The stress level can get pretty high at home, especially as the amount of homework Sky manages on a daily basis seems to increase exponentially every year.

While Sky is perfectly capable of doing his homework assignments, he is NOT good at doing them without completely stressing out in the process. For reasons I haven't quite figured out, yet, Sky obsesses whenever he has a writing assignment due, and the assignment becomes infinitely more difficult because of Sky's anxiety. Of course, matters are complicated when the assignment is vague or the deadline not chiseled in a stone tablet he can bring home with him.

The most recent assignment asked Sky to write a personal news story. It took him awhile to understand what his teacher meant by this, so the first step in the process was an excruciatingly drawn-out game of something akin to "telephone." The teacher would tell the students what to do, and Sky would come home and share it with me, hoping I could clear things up. Since I had no idea what the heck he was talking about, I'd ask a question that he invariably couldn't answer, triggering his anxiety, and then forcing him to wait until school the next day when he might or might not remember to ask his teacher to clear things up for him. This went on for days. Sky has an assignment book. He also gets rubrics to help with all of his longer assignments, but he still struggles to make sense of what he has to do.

It was in this perpetual anxiety-fueled struggle to understand the news article assignment while also dealing with little siblings who get into his stuff and make it hard for him to think, that we spent the entire last week of our lives. A typical conversation (who am I kidding, these were monologues) went something like this:

Sky: Ohhh nooo, the article is due in XX days, and I still don't know what to write about but I can't help it because I can't find my YYY that Stow just stole. I know it was on my desk and now it's gone. Why did you have to have another kid, Mom? Stow needs to learn he can't keep bugging me. Why don't you do anything about it. Ohhh, I have to write my article and I don't understand what I am supposed to dooooo.

Sky has valid point. Stow needs to leave him alone. Problem is that Stow finds the very fact that he should be leaving Sky alone to be the biggest possible motivation for just about everything he does in life. You think I exaggerate. I do not.

Then Sunday afternoon, mere hours before the deadline, it hit me. The only way to make this assignment work was to embrace Sky's anxieties. I suggested he write an article about the recent spate of robberies he's experienced. He came up with this:

Robbery in the MOE Household 
On May 3, 2016, 11 year-old Sky MOE reported his camera missing. When MOE left for school, the camera was on the top shelf of his bookshelf. He remembers locking his door to keep unwanted visitors out. “When I came home, the door to my room was open, but I don’t remember opening it. Then, after dinner, I went to get my camera, and it was gone,” MOE explains.

Sky looked everywhere for the small silver Sony Cyber-Shot camera. In his desk, under his bed, under his brother’s bed, on his brother’s desk, in the living room, anywhere that it could possibly be. 
At the time of the disappearance, Stow M., age 4, one of the suspects, was at home while Sky was at school. Stow’s daily routine is to stay at home until lunch time, and then ride the preschool bus to school. In the past, Stow has stolen Sky’s things and sometimes taken them apart, so Stow is a prime suspect to the crime. He will do anything to achieve his goal of stealing Sky’s things. It’s easy to imagine him climbing the 7-foot tall desk because he has used a chair to get to the top of the closet, and sometimes he even locks the door behind him when he leaves. When he was asked if he touched it, Stow said, “I don’t know where it is. I touched it but did not move it. Actually, I put it on top of your desk. No, I put it on your laundry. Just kidding! I didn’t touch it.”

Pink M., age 8, the other suspect, was at school as well but is known for stealing Sky’s things after school. When he asked her, she said, “I really didn’t touch it. I really didn’t Sky. It’s not a lie.” 
We still do not know who stole his camera. 
“If I find out that I put it somewhere and forgot it, I will freak out.” says Sky.

The investigation is ongoing. If you happen to find a silver Sony Cyber-Shot camera lying around please bring it back to Sky MOE.
I don't know what kind of grade he'll get or whether he even actually did what the assignment intended for him to do. I do know, though, that he finally quit worrying about it and wrote the darn thing, so I think I'll call that a victory.

1 comment:

jequoi13 said...

Obviously I don't know what the assignment was, but I think this is an amazing news story! Great job, Sky!