1. Paul. He was accepted into the full-time gifted program at a different elementary school. He was also officially diagnosed with ADHD, most likely a result of neurological damage from his premature birth. Because he wasn't really thriving at the school he attended from K to 3rd (partially the fault of the ADHD, I know), I decided to take the opportunity and switched him. We also began experimenting on him like a little guinea pig with ADHD medications. The first one was a failure, with negligible results. Next up, amphetamines - generic for Adderall. The difference is astounding. Homework formerly took all night, with Paul getting up from his desk and wandering away every ten minutes if I wasn't right there to nag him back at it. Most nights he wouldn't finish. I reacted very badly on more than one occasion, and it killed any hopes of us ever having any weeknight family activities. It was awful and crippling. He's been on the amphetamines for a week now, and homework gets done cheerfully and quickly, he finishes most of his work in class, he finishes tests within the allotted time. We've gone to the hot tub more than one night. Next week I might let him start going back to Cub Scouts (we couldn't afford the spare time before). Tonight he finished his homework and then happily spent hours drawing pictures of Phineas & Ferb characters. I don't even have words for my joy. I may cry once I accept that it's all real. There are side effects, but nothing hideous so far. The most notable difference is that now he will talk my ear off if I let him.
2. Eli. Everything comes easily for him. I have no doubt he'll be identified as gifted, since I guesstimate his IQ is 130 at a minimum. He learns fast, draws conclusions based on the evidence he observes and infers, has tons of friends. Everything that is difficult and hard-fought for Paul is natural and thoughtless for him. As a result, he is the more neglected of the two. I am so very, very grateful to have a child who I don't worry about. Eli is still willful at times, but he is so drastically improved from the wild savage that he was before. He is already a straight-A student, even correcting mistakes in the homework he is assigned. Paul (and I really do weep for joy about this), instead of being jealous, is as proud as can be of his brother. Their love for each other, even though they fight like wild dogs at times, gives me hope that I'm not the worst mother ever. An example of how much E loves P: Paul hates speaking in front of people, so when we were practicing for the annual children's program at church, Paul was full of anxiety and clung to me, crying that he did not want to perform his part. Eli came up, asked why Paul was sad, and when I explained it to him said, "Don't worry Paul, I'll say your parts." I admit, I got weepy.
There is more, but I'm out of time for the night. Next time, band news.