So as the morning ended I asked Leah to get dressed and ready for the day. I could tell that something was not right as she looked at me with eyes that seemed to have fear behind them. When I asked her what’s wrong she simply told me that she was still nervous from the Zelda, video game, that she had been watching me play.
I knew that I was not getting the truth out of her so I told her that she needed to sit down and think about what was bothering her. I gave her 7 minutes and at the end of that time she needed to either give me the truth or give me a recent stuffed animal purchase.
After 5 minutes, she turned to me with tears in her eyes and told me that she was nervous about her timed math test tomorrow. School is not a natural fit for Leah–it takes her longer to get answers out and timed tests make her nervous, which puts her brain into “lockdown.”
She and I had been working on time tests over Christmas break and afterwards we talked about attempting to complete 15 problems in 2 minutes. She applied that to mean that tomorrow she needed to reach that goal. And it was her fear that she wouldn’t be able to that created the anxious look I noticed earlier. I wrapped her in my arms and reassured her that that go we had discussed could happen anytime before the end of the year and didn’t have to happen tomorrow. It was like a weight fell off her shoulders! Afterwards we practiced some time tests. On her first attempt she completed 12, on the second 18 and on the third 14. I applauded her effort and she just started crying–tears of joy, she assured me.
When her practice was done we made some guacamole together, ate chips and watched kitchen nightmares. All in all a great morning. Great because I felt like I unraveled the enigma that is Leah just a little bit.
Of course the price of solving that riddle was a few more grey hairs.