So I saw Pumpkin’s early childhood screening, and it was very interesting. To the question, “which is bigger, a house or a ball?” he answered, “ball.” (He does that fairly frequently — he repeats the last thing you said if he doesn’t otherwise know what to say.) To the question, “what’s this?” (pointing to chin), he answered, “armpit.”
Today I started his portfolio assessment (I’ve got parent conferences next week), and found that he does, after all, know most of his colors. He also knows three whole capital letters, and recognized a few shapes and one or two numbers. But when I asked, “what is your first name?” he answered, “four.”
It occurs to me that not only does this child really not understand the concept of listening, he doesn’t understand the whole concept of questioning. You know, someone asks a question, and you answer it, and the answer makes some sort of logical sense. His response to “when is your birthday?” was “people give me presents,” so at least he was on topic, and he knows that when I say something, he’s supposed to say something back. But he doesn’t know that a question requires an answer, and he doesn’t know when he doesn’t know the answer. I tried to prompt him — “if you don’t know, that’s okay, just say ‘I don’t know'” — but that got me nowhere.
In blocks today he was very excited to check out the cardboard brick blocks for the first time. He required several interventions from me, because he was so excited he was kicking blocks across the floor, and knocking down other people’s buildings. I explained to him that “blocks are for building,” and that in the block corner there is no kicking, and no knocking down other people’s creations without their permission. I told him that if he did one of those things again, he’d have to leave the block corner.
So a few minutes later he kicked some blocks and I said, “okay, that’s it, you need to leave now.”
The next minute I looked and he was nowhere in the room.
“Miss Slinger, have you seen Pumpkin?” I asked.
“No,” she said, looking around with concern.
I had an idea, and went out to the hall, where I found a very sad Pumpkin waiting by his cubby, with his backpack on.
He didn’t think he had to leave blocks, he thought he had to leave school!
Poor baby. But this morning I grabbed our speech pathologist and asked her to hang out with my little Pumpkin and tell me what she thinks.