Marking time to the beat of their own drum

Tweet and Retweet followed the advice of the Infant Welfare sister and sought to provide enrichment activities for the Tweetlets.
They hired some musical instruments to see whether the Tweetlets would enjoy playing before investing large amounts on purchasing instruments.

And they set up a telescope for stargazing and an easel for painting which Tweetelle really enjoyed using.

But Tweetil kept on squawking “I’m bored! I want to go out and bounce with the dog!”
(The bouncing dog was Psycho Motor Dabrowski who was very eager to see the Tweetlets flying and came and bounced at the foot of the tree every day.)

So Arachnid installed a mini trampoline inside the nest.

The Flight 101 theory lessons continued and arts and crafts were incorporated.
They made leaf planes and seed helicopters and watched them fly. Tweetelle loved making leaf planes and even painted them different colours so they could play ‘See whose plane flies further’.

But Tweetil just wanted to fly himself!

Friends who visited the Tweet family during this time were very critical of the Tweets’ parenting. Some accused them of being ‘helicopter parents’ and hovering around their Tweetlets all the time like hummingbirds at a flower. Others accused them of ‘hot-housing’ and said that they were pushing the Tweetlets too hard.
Tweet and Retweet were filled with dread when Great Aunt Hashtag notified them of her intention to pay them another visit.

They replicated Galileo’s experiment by dropping seeds and nuts and feathers of different sizes and weights from the nest to learn about gravity and terminal velocity.

Psycho Motor Dabrowski suggested to Tweetil that the Galileo experiments could be made more interesting and enjoyable by aiming to hit a specific target with the nuts.
“You get one point for hitting that leaf, five points for it landing in a puddle,” said Psycho Motor “fifty points if it lands in a puddle and splashes someone and one hundred points if you can splash the old bird with the walking frame!”

You don’t need to be Imaginational Dabrowski to guess what happened next!

Flight School hits the Asynchrony speed bump

The Tweetlets were moving rapidly through the theory sections of Flight 101 and Arachnid  had set up the Web for them. But they were not having much success with the practical exercises.
They had mastered Flap – Flap – Flap but were not able to get enough power to get any lift when they jumped. (The course notes advised that they should only practice Flap – Flap – Jump inside the nest until they could get enough lift to Feel the Thermal and until they had covered Landing Procedures.)

Retweet was very concerned that the Tweetlets had reached a plateau and were not progressing and consulted the Maternal and Infant Welfare sister. She was surprised to find that the Tweetlets were in fact ahead of the expected development in several areas.
But the wise sister advised that the Tweetlets’ wing feathers were not yet sufficiently developed to allow flight. She informed Retweet that most Tweetlets that age had not even started the Flight 101 subject and were still listening to Nesty Rhymes. She was concerned to know whether the Tweetlets knew the most common Nesty Rhyme

Twitter, twitter little bird
How I wonder what you’ve heard
Sitting in your cosy nest
Eating food that you like best
Twitter, twitter little bird
How I wonder what you’ve heard

Retweet assured the wise sister that she and Tweet had sung the Nesty Rhymes to the Tweetlets often in the past when the Tweetlets could not go to sleep; and that they not only knew the rhymes but had grown so tired of hearing them that they had invented their own variations of them.

Twitter, twitter little bird
Let me tell you what I heard
Beyond the nest a world awaits
With wondrous sights and prospect gates
Twitter, twitter little bird
Let me tell you what I heard.

The wise sister expressed concern that singing variations of the Nesty Rhymes without sufficient repetition of the original and without authorisation from the education authorities  would cause confusion for the Tweetlets and that at least 10 repetitions were needed for mastery.
Retweet said that she thought the Tweetlets were quite bright because they had been able to recite the original after hearing it only two times and became bored with it after five repetitions.

Fortunately the wise sister was familiar with the notion that very young Tweetlets could already be displaying signs of giftedness and gave Retweet an article titled Bright versus Gifted from http://www.bownet.org/besgifted/brightvs.htm  to read.

She also stressed the Asynchronous Development of the gifted and cautioned that the Tweetlets may be physically unable to put into practice the things they were able to understand. Only time would provide the growth and development of their flight feathers which would to allow them to fly.

In the meantime the wise sister suggested perhaps they could provide some musical enhancement opportunities for the Tweetlets.

Nappies on Tweetlets

“How long will the Tweetlets be wearing nappies?” Sprite asked me.

My first thought was to reply “As long as they look cute wearing them!”

But then I realised it was a very good question which raised a number of issues and my quick flippant response was not a very satisfactory answer.

It begged the question “Why do the Tweetlets wear nappies anyway?”
Answer 1: “Because it looks cute and shows that they are the baby birds.”
Answer 2: “For the same reason as adult Twitter birds wear Easter bonnets and Melbourne Cup Day hats and fascinators”

And, of course, that line of questioning led us straight back to our discussion of anthropomorphism which began with Sprite’s question “Is Babar supposed to be an elephant? See Elephants in the Waiting Room  https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/elephants-in-the-waiting-room/

The second line of thought was ‘I could use this question as a starter for a discussion about toilet training and give some useful references to parenting blogs, such as Raising Children Network’ http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/toilet_training.html
and also Sue Larkey’s Toilet Training Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
 http://suelarkey.com.au/media/Tip_Sheet_-_Toilet_Training.pdf

This second line of thought also brought to mind the asynchronous development of gifted children and these excellent articles on the subject

Davidson Institute for Talent Development article
Martha Morelock Giftedness the view from within
http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10172.aspx

SENG article
Asynchronous Development by Jean Goerss http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/asynchronous-developmen

Giftedness as asynchronous development by Stephanie Tolan http://www.stephanietolan.com/gt_as_asynch.htm

And the third issue that Sprite’s question raised was that of the depiction of the passage of time (or lack of it) in Sprite’s Site blog.
We have celebrated the wedding of Tweet and Retweet and now seen them lay egglets and hatch the Tweetlets, Tweetil and Tweetelle. And presumably we will follow the progress of the Tweetlets as they learn to fly and then as they fly away on migrations.
Sprite’s appearance has changed a little during the last three years; but that is mainly due to variation in the drawing and in the tools I am using to create the images.
Sprite’s age does not change; despite the fact that the blog has celebrated two birthdays
She has always been the same undisclosed age and she is always depicted as having an injured left ankle and needing to wear different shoes on each foot to illustrate the concept that she needs different educational provisions for both her giftedness and her disability
So how do I reconcile the lack of consistency? Some characters on Sprite’s Site grow and change and some do not.
And how long will the Tweetlets be wearing nappies?

A Cruise on the good ship Asynchronicity

The regular #gtchat sessions will not be held this week but the #gtstoogies will be holding a Happy Hour during the timeslot of the second session (7.00pm EST Friday or 11.00 am Saturday for Victorian and NSW Australians)

We will use the Happy Hour to discuss plans for a virtual cruise on the good ship Asynchronicity. When we first talked about this in a bit of fun during #gtchat we were thinking how good it would be to sail away as a group of people with a common interest in the health, welfare and education of gifted students to a beautiful location such as the Caribbean. Somehow Pirates of the Caribbean was mentioned and the exercise took on a pirate theme.

But when you get a group of imaginative, creative, gifted people together there are bound to be many interpretations of what would constitute the ideal cruise, what its destination should be and what places to visit en route. Even the design of the ship could be debated.

The name of the ship is Asynchronicity to honour the gifts and delights as well as the challenges that Asynchronous Development brings to gifted people especially children.

As an example of asynchrony the picture of the galleon on the wall beside the map of the Caribbean is a copy of a picture drawn by our youngest son when he was six which was published in Vision, the journal of the VAGTC.

As it is to be a virtual cruise we can travel to literal, fictional, mythical or allegorical places. The journey is only limited by the thoughts and imaginations of the travellers.

The table in the #gtstoogies lobby still displays the poster for the film Pirates of the Caribbean and the Shelfari bookshelf has a display of books about sea journeys and pirates.

A Wallwisher page has been set at http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/asynchronicity  where people can add their thoughts about what our ship should look like and where the cruise should go.

Drawing on literature and mythology we could adventure with Jason and the Argonauts or travel to the glassy sea at the end of the world with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Allegorical maps could show us a journey along Gagne’s DMGT road from innate giftedness to fully developed talent or take us on the Feetspeak Quest to attempt to find an ideal education.

Imagination could add wings, a hot air balloon, a time MELD or even a rocket propulsion system to our ship.

The whales and the stars are calling to us – where will the journey take us?