I’m happy to report that I lost in a fierce round of Battleship this morning, though it took A LOT of effort on my part to do so. 😉
I’m more happy to report that the boy learned about thinking in terms of horizontal and vertical, grids and maps, spatial relations (no, you’re looking for something that is 5 holes big so it can’t possibly be in that spot that is surrounded on all 4 sides already), and, interestingly, the 4 branches of the US military. We also covered that the military planes he sees once in a while carry troops and tanks and not missiles, and while the Navy has planes, they are mostly about boats and it is the Air Force that is about planes. He was actually pretty interested in all that stuff, which is new for him. We’re always on the lookout for moments when he takes at least a minor new interest in something that may be socially age-appropriate, a major challenge for Aspie kids, so this may be something we can look into fostering a bit. Hear that, honey? It’s time to break out your military aircraft book and use it for something other than a hard surface to write on!
By the end, my hard work at losing seem to pay off. He had been frustrated along the way since Battleship is (a) time-consuming and (b) a lot of missing and only a little hitting. He dealt better with problem A than he has in the past, and problem B was diffused a bit by learning that the real Navy misses a whole lot more than it hits too (smart-bombs and whatnot be damned – I can’t let technological advances get in our way here!). Giving him a way to see practical application in real life of some of the things he is learning along the way is finally starting to make a difference to him. You’d think that might have always been the case for an Aspie, but until the mind is capable of understanding that the forest and the trees are the same thing, it doesn’t work that way. In its “younger” state (having nothing to do with actual age), the Aspie mind only takes into account the things that are having actual immediate impact on the actual immediate present of their actual immediate person.
In short, imagine living in a world where nothing is inherently understood and nothing is absorbed through osmosis by watching others and learning from any experience other than your own.
Long before I had a child of my own, I’d always believed that every moment in life is a learning experience. (And, as a side note, I have to profusely thank my mother for that.) Funny how the thoughts and beliefs you carry even as far back as childhood can help to prepare you for later life. Every moment for my son has to be a learning experience. There will never be enough time, enough effort, enough stamina to teach him all the extra things he should simply be absorbing along the way as other kids do, but I really do believe that TB and I go the extra mile 9/10 times to try, in every possible type of situation; I’m also proud of us for letting that 10th one slide because we cannot possibly hold ourselves to an impossible standard. We’ve both made a lot of mistakes in our lives, but I have to say that, even though I can get really down sometimes about the daunting enormity and endlessness of our task as parents, I am truly proud of how we have managed so far – and we have a great kid to prove it. I love you, babe. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul for being the one to share this horrible joyful learning experience with me.
Note to self: This is the post to read next time you’re in a puddle of tears because you’re so sure you’re failing at this monumental task that has been set before you.
Anyway, all that work ended up being for good this time, which made it a pleasure to be on the losing end (oh boy, it isn’t always that way!). Hmm, July 10. If we play every 10 days or so, I might get to win before he goes back to school… That would be cool. 😉