At eight months she couldn’t sit up. And she wouldn’t smile. It was a toss-up as to whether she was autistic or brain-damaged. But Joyce tickled her with kisses until she laughed! And she slept through the night! Perhaps not unexpectedly, it took her nine months, a full gestation period, to warm up to me; otherwise, her development was more-or-less normal, except for a few medical issues. Joyce is a much better parent than I am. She is the sociable kind, and I am too “cerebral,” too introverted, and probably more than a little autistic.
The school did want to hold her back when she was in kindergarten. Failing sandbox? I don’t think so! We arranged for her to be assessed by a child psychologist that I knew, and she tested above average, so we convinced the school to promote her to Grade one. The Grade one teacher was “an old school marm,” and it was love at first sight. In a more structured school environment, this little girl absolutely thrived. Her only bad year was when the Grade seven class had a newly graduated teacher, and the whole class was out-of-control.
Interestingly, probably becaue of a combination of being bright and the school system’s tendency to keep students with their age mates, she never learned to study, and she failed five of her eight first year college courses. During her second year, they put her in a remedial learning class and taught her how to study. From then on, nothing has been able to hold her back. Bumps on the road, yes. Emotional distress, yes. As someone once said, “Life is difficult” – think spousal abuse. But maturity and responsibility in spades. I am so proud of her.