Joey is going to be in the third grade spelling bee tomorrow. We're really excited. He was in the first grade bee, but we had some miscommunications about his needs, and he got over-frustrated and threw it in the fifth round. The memory made him anxious enough that he purposely threw the classroom bee last year, so he didn't get to be in the second grade bee. So the fact that he's decided to give it another go, that's a big deal- especially with all the anxiety he's had this year. Seriously. Wow.
So I've been trying to help him prepare. Most kids, when they prepare for a spelling bee, practice- well, spelling. Not us. We practice things like sitting, listening, facing a person who is speaking to you. We talked about getting a prize if he spells all the words right. But mostly, he looks at me like I'm insane; you can almost read in his face: "It's spelling, mom. What's the big deal? What's to practice?"
This afternoon, he actually came home excited about it, saying, "My spelling show is tomorrow!" So I managed to say, "That's right! I bet you win it!" He blinked, and gave me one his processing looks, then happily cheered, "Yes! I will win!"
I think he is just now realizing it is a game, and that there is a "winning." I think I might just get something to bring with me tomorrow as a prize, whether he wins or not. Because seriously, he's already a winner for giving it another try.