Monday, November 17, 2008

Update on The World's Largest Kindergartener

As mom3gram points out in the comments, we haven't heard much from or about Jillian or Jason lately on aw2pp. So let's visit Jason today.

Jason is doing well in kindergarten, making lots of new friends. This seems to come easy for Jason, who makes friends easily, much like Sue does. In Jason's case, very small buddies. I think they are naturally drawn by his adventuresome personality, easygoing manner, and hulking size. At a recent doctor's visit (hold that thought), Jason clocked in at 4'4" and 83 lbs. It does no good to compare these numbers with the growth curves for other 5.75 year-olds. ("Um, looks like he's the 120th percentile... no, wait, 125th...") Instead, think of it this way. He is the average height of a 8.5 year old, and the average weight of an 11.5 year old. And he can palm a volleyball. Football may be in his future, no? Certainly we can rule out a career as a jockey.

Sorry, he doesn't look 11 to me. 8 maybe.

Back to this doctor visit. We were advised by his school that Jason had failed two recent hearing tests. He failed yet another hearing test last year; we dismissed the result at the time as the byproduct of a cold / ear infection. Failing three hearing tests is much harder to dismiss. When he was a toddler, Jason did enjoy many ear infections. We were not surprised, then, when the doctor advised us that his ears are not draining fluid properly, and that this is probably a chronic condition that has been in place for some time. Poor Jay! He sometimes slurs his words, and true, he's not the world's greatest listener. But we'd just ascribed these characteristics to natural boyhood. We've had to consciously remind ourselves that he is, after all, not 11, not 8, but rather 5, and we've done our best to cut him the slack that he's due. We are (well, I am) still pretty hard on him sometimes, because it is sometimes frustrating to say the same things over and over again. But maybe there was a hearing problem all along.

(Sue just let me know that we have an an ENT appointment scheduled for a week from today.)

Now, mind you, Jason isn't deaf, and there is no indication that we're headed down that path. But if this has been getting worse, it would surely be tough to take up music in a serious way. Jason hasn't really taken to the new piano. Once in awhile, I'll catch him playing Dance of the Unicorns, the piece Jillian wrote (and now wants to rename... "I'm over unicorns.") But for the most part, perhaps because his teacher* doesn't have anything new to teach him, Jason hasn't put much bench time in. Now that we are a piano household again, and now that we've actively begun searching for a piano teacher, perhaps that will change.

* - For those of you just joining us, that would be Jillian, his six year old sister. Where have you been, anyway?

Jason has, however, expressed some interest in the guitar. I floated the idea to Sue that perhaps we don't sign Jason up for piano lessons, but rather guitar lessons (if Santa brings a guitar this year, that is). Jillian overheard this and protested, honestly and vehemently. "Daddy, I AM JASON'S PIANO TEACHER!"

Well then.

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