S is for Struggling (Sort-of)… and SPEED!

It’s a race to… hopefully learning how to write the letter “S”! We’ll see what happens, RMT’ers!

Last week C and I met with T’s teacher at school for the Spring school parent-teacher conference. Not too much new to report, or at least it’s nothing new to us. Seems T has a hard time sitting still to take his time in finishing assignments or tasks (gee wonder who he gets that from, said Father Engineer) and loves to talk, a lot (gee wonder who he gets that from, said Mother Mouth). So, yeah, not really anything newsworthy there much!

But one thing we learned from the teacher is that T came into school this week and announced that he no longer wished to be known by his full and proper name but wanted to be called by the shorter name that he goes by with friends and family. His teacher asked why and I guess T told her, “Because S’s are hard for me (to write)! And the other name doesn’t have an “S” in it!”

Yes, T, you’re pretty cute. However, you still need to learn certain things, one being writing the letter “S”… even that smile won’t get you out of this one, son!

When C and I heard this little story, we asked her what her response was to T. She said that while she’d be happy to call him by the other name as well as his proper first name, she wasn’t going to let him out of that one so easily and that he’d still need to continue to practice writing his proper name to work on the S’s. C and I both agreed with his teacher that this was the correct reaction; while of course we have to admit T was being pretty clever in trying to avoid something that he is struggling with, well, that’s just not how we deal with struggles in this family. But just the same, we were not about to take T home and sit him down with ruled paper and a crayon to write S’s over and over until he got it right either.

C gets to work on the “S”-shaped race track. While I didn’t get any photos of him cutting and painting the “S” I did get to see him do all of the finish work here at home, beginning with the start and finish lines he masked out at each end. This is so T always starts at the top of the letter and races the cars down to the end. Thankfully, whichever way T drives the cars on the black side of the “S” it’s the correct direction!

After C masked off the road lines of the “S”-shaped race track, he painted them white to resemble the real thing.

Just a photo as we waited for the paint to dry on T’s new “S”-shaped race track. Yes, an actual photo of paint drying!

T helps C remove the masking tape to reveal the road details on his new “S”-shaped race track.

A close-up of the checkered flag painted at the finish line of the “S”-shaped race track before all the tape came off.

So C and I each gave some thought to a middle ground approach on this, and we’re starting with C’s idea: an “S”-shaped race track for T’s cars! While I was out this weekend at a “girl party” (baby shower), C took some time in his dad’s workshop and cut a three-foot long, four-inch wide “S” from some scrap wood. He then painted it black – like a road – on just one side so that T always can play on the road with the “S” right-side up. Once home, C taped out start and finish areas and a dotted line down the center and painted those white. Yes, C masked an actual checkered flag on this thing, and it’s pretty damn impressive how well it turned out!

T’s beautiful, new “S”-shaped race track!

T’s Disney Cars-cars take their first positions on the new “S”-shaped race track!

Now T can race two cars (Matchbox, Hot Wheels, or Disney Cars-cars) side-by-side through the S-shaped race course. Sounds like T’s on the fast-track to learning (the letter S) to me, RMT’ers!