Mom! Want to play a game?

6 year old Seamus has been hard at work after school lately, scribbling notes to himself on the coffee table in our den and muttering under his breath for up to an hour. None of us are sure what he’s up to, but by now we all know better than to interrupt him.

Last Thursday, he asked me if I would like to see what he’d been working on. I said I’d love to.

I nodded calmly, surveying his work like Shelley Duvall in The Shining when she discovers that Jack Nicholson has been typing reams and reams of doggerel while insisting he not be disturbed.

Oh my God OH MY GOD MY SON IS INSANE. Please review the answer to number six with me: yes, eleven A’s, a four down and up, an eight up, a one up, then A+++.  for the love of all that is holy: what was the question?

I looked up at my son’s expectant face. “Uh. What does this mean?” I asked, gingerly. 
Seamus smiled– he thought I’d never ask. “It’s a GAME! Want to play?”

When a child asks a mother if she wants to play a game, there is always the truth (no) and what she is obligated to say (golly, sure). And so I “played” that game with Seamus for a while, which consisted of me sitting and watching him scribble and talk to himself. I still have no idea what was going on, but number 13 had twenty-four A’s. And that meant he won.

I am thrilled that my son is able to occupy himself so contentedly. However, I am still a little concerned by his proximity to A Beautiful Mind territory. More the loco part than the genius part.

His godmother has pointed out that Seamus’s “game” looks like a series of increasingly positive eBay seller reviews. And hey, all eBay sellers are completely well-adjusted, right? 
I don’t think Seamus has ever been on eBay, but all those A+’s must at least indicate a child who sees his glass as half-full.

Have you a scribbling genius in your home?