Who knew that Boo would go from "I don't think I want to do the spelling bee" to finishing in the top 10?! I was fortunate enough to get to drive her to school on the day she was to compete in her classroom to determine who would go against 4th and 5th graders in the HIS spelling bee. We covered a whole lot in that little therapy session (it takes all of 5-10 minutes from our driveway to actual drop-off at school).
She had mentioned that she would be participating, but we didn't study for it. They must have done a lot at school, because my child was spelling words that I would have to double check the spelling on. After all, this is the first year of spelling tests. Throughout elementary school, "spelling test" was 2 bad words. They wanted the kids to focus on what they were trying to say in their creative writing, instead of worrying about the details of spelling. I get it and I bought in a long time ago. I just felt sorry for Boo and the anxiety she had about the spelling bee.
Now, back to the car ride to school. Out of nowhere, Ellie says "I don't think I want to do the spelling bee". I said "it's ok if you don't", while thinking to myself "how the heck do I not know that today is the spelling bee?" Trying not to be dismissive, I started asking questions...
Me: why don't you want to be in the spelling bee?
Ellie: I don't want to speak into the microphone.
Me: I understand; a lot of people don't like to speak into a microphone. They think it makes them sound funny, but really, it sounds like them, only louder.
Ellie: These words are 5th grade words....dictionary words! I'm in 3rd grade.....they want us to spell words like tambourine and zucchini!
Me: You don't have to do it if you don't want to. (afterall, if it was that important, I would've known it, right?!)
Ellie: yes I do, its too late to drop out....
Me: well, you'll have to talk to Mrs. Blackmon about that...but look on the bright side, if the words are that difficult, you'll only have to do it once....
Ellie: (Looking at me like I have 2 heads)...I don't want to get up there and get disqualified!!
And out the car she goes.
Later that day, I get an email from the teacher:
Mom, this is Ellie. I won the spelling bee! I spelled tambourine right!
2 weeks later (this past Friday), she made it to the 3rd round (and said she was one of the last 10 standing). This was out of 35 kids (3rd, 4th, and 5th graders).
I was so glad we had our little chat that day before the preliminary round!