And just like that her tone shifts. Her body language softens and she reaches out to touch my chin with the hand that was methodically rubbing the homework sheet the second before. I pick up the pencil she slammed down and offer it back to her as we make eye contact and I smile and hug her as she pulls her bottom back in from its signature bird perch pout. After a deep breath and a good hug, I ask her if she’s ready to keep working. She nods and fidgets a bit in her chair and with the paper, and then looks back at me.
“Yes. I’ll get you a drink after we finish this problem. First math. Then drink. Ok?”
Nodding, she positions her pencil. “Math. Kefir. Ipad.”
As she pushes the paper toward me, I reread the question and pull out the counter animals to show her the math problem and use my finger to point to the illustration on the page. She touches each animal in turn and starts counting from one.
“Mmmm. Look again. Which number is bigger?”
“Good. Count on from 7. Eig….”
As I pause mid-word, she picks up the pace and slides three bears over to the seven dinosaurs and smiles proudly as she writes the 10 in the blank space. She can do this.
It’s not easy.
Some nights it’s not fun.
But she can do this.
And we can to.
And so we do.