Friday, January 30, 2009
F-o-t means "I'm tired!"
Ah, the spelling bee. Thirty-six kids. Each spell a word. Then we start again. How long does it take 36 kids to spell one word?
Through this lovely adventure, all the children not spelling a word are expected to sit in a chair and be silent. This is not Joey's strong suit. Come to think of it, it isn't Andy's, either.
All things considered, Joey did spectacularly well. When you think that this time last year, there was no way he could have sat in a chair for fifteen minutes, then gotten up, gone to a microphone, listened to someone ask him to spell a word, and then spell it, it was downright miraculous. Add on top the fact that they do a practice round before beginning the real bee, and you wonder how on earth he did what he did, even with divine providence on his side.
He lasted five rounds, plus the practice round, and threw in the towel on the sixth round (so he got six words right.) On that seventh word, it was pretty clear he was done. Fidgeting was way up, he was getting out of his seat to spin, he was being grumpy with people helping him, he was tired and ready to go. So when asked to spell "vote", he got up and spelled "F-O-T." He turned and waited for the bell (indicating a misspelled word), then turned to his aide (who was allowed to be with him on stage), and according to her, whispered, "Vote. V-O-T-E. Vote! I wasn't paying attention!" Now, this last has become a formula for "I am messing up on purpose!" She was upset that he threw the word on purpose, but you know what? We've been trying to teach the child to self-regulate all year. I'm not going to complain when he actually does it.
I learned some about spelling bees, and have some ideas for next year (such as, they let other contestants get up to use the bathroom, why can't Joey get up to have a walk-break?), and I think Joey did have fun with it. All in all, I am just busting proud of him. He did a great job!