It seems like we live on a constant roller coaster. Yesterday Hannah and I had a wonderful Mommy Daughter Day. We went to the museum, had lunch, played, did school, had dinner, bath, bed with no problems. We made it through with no screaming, melting down, hitting, kicking, etc. There was of course some minor preschool disobedience, but hey, no one's perfect. This morning, however, was a totally different story. Hannah was out of control. She threw things, hit me, kicked me, scratched me, tried to bite me, and pinched me. All this because she didn't want to turn off the TV and then later didn't want to wash up and leave for school. It's not like this routine was out of the ordinary. We do it EVERY Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We've done it for over a year. In fact, except leaving for school, we do the same routine every single morning! Still, it's impossible to predict when she'll be able to smoothly move through the morning routine successfully and when she'll just completely lose control of herself. By the time I actually got her to school she was fine and I'm sure she'll have a wonderful day there. That's the other thing that is frustrating. She almost NEVER displays these aggressive behaviors at school. For them she's a sweet angel all the time. I can almost guarantee though that the minute I walk in to pick her up the behaviors will start building and by the time we make it home they will be in full swing. UGH! How can she act so sweetly and behave so wonderfully one moment and then at the flip of a switch shift into another gear and go nuts on me? I just don't get it.
Something that interests me about Hannah's reading level is that even though she can read at a second grade level and comprehend what the text says as far as being able to report the events of the story and the facts objectively, she is unable to make predictions or inferences about the stories she reads. In this aspect of reading comprehension I would say she is just barely at age level for a 4 year old, maybe even a little behind since my expertise is not early childhood, but elementary school. Even stories that she has read to her and that she doesn't have to expend the mental energy of actually decoding, she is unable to display this higher level comprehension. Picture books she is a little better at picking up unspoken aspects of the story, but that is only because she studies the pictures so intensely. If the pictures weren't there she wouldn't gain as much depth about the story as she does. Every now and then she'll get something that I'm surprised she catches, but on the whole this uneven development she has in reading is quite fascinating to me. A four year difference between decoding and comprehension is a pretty big gap and I am amazed that it could even develop. It's hard for me to imagine being able to read the words, but not really understanding all that they tell. I've heard that this is quite common for children with hyperlexia, but I'm not too concerned yet since really she's right about where she should be comprehension wise. If it ever gets to the point where she can't comprehend at the grade level she's SUPPOSED to be reading (even if she's still reading 4 years ahead!) then I'll be worried. For now though, I'm just intrigued.