Friday, April 1, 2011

Captive Audience

Just sat through a dissertation by our younger son on the topic of language development in Bugs Bunny from birth until his first meeting with Elmer Fudd.

With EXCRUCIATING detail, he told how every "Goo goo" turned into a "Ga ga," and how veeeeerrrrryyyy slowly, the "ga" turned into the, "Meh!" Which we now know so well to precede the "What's up Doc?"

He just wouldn't stop! I suddenly felt a rush of adrenaline. As he continued to chatchatchatchatchat about Bugs Bunny's oral motor abilities, I suddenly felt sweaty, and I had an overwhelming urge to run away. Yes, I said it: I wanted to run away from my child! He was spewing this endless stream of fabricated chatter that WAS A COMPLETE WASTE OF EVERYONE'S TIME AND ENERGY, and if I didn't get away and collect myself, I was going to scream.

Welcome to the world of high functioning autism, where discourse regarding any given topic is not the goal. All the speaker needs, really, is a warm body on the receiving end. Occasional affirmation--a smile, the nod of a head--is a bonus but it also runs the risk of encouraging the chatter.

All of his life, I have been conflicted on this issue. After all, I am his mom. My job is to be encouraging. So, I listen. And, I offer affirmation. However, today, instead of countering his words with my dutiful responses of, "Really? He did that?" Or "Wow! I didn't know that," I was running the risk of telling him to shut his trap because nobody gives a flip about Bugs Bunny's language development, and, surely nobody outside of his mother has the staying power to sit and listen to that mind-numbing dribble!!!

Chatchbatchatchat. My son is oblivious to the fact that I am ready to explode. I'll simply have to make a clean break.

"OK, buddy! Thanks for telling me that. Mommy has to potty." I said, using the oldest trick in the book. I was walking as I spoke, heading to the upstairs bathroom as fast as I could.

"Uh, mama?" he said. Good gravy! The kid was following me!!!! "You can use the bathroom right down here!"

"Uh, yeah, but, I've gotta..." I was still walking. "...get something, and, well..."
I just let my words float in space as I turned and bolted up those last couple steps.

SIGH. Can you just FEEL the silence? Well, okay, in the distance you can hear him happily chattering to the video game he is playing on his Nintendo DSi, but that's minor. Here, in the upstairs toilet, for but a moment, I can BREATHE!

This could never be a Mom Cave, unfortunately. While it has nice amenities, children are basically onto the bathroom excuse early in their development. They know how long it takes to potty, after all.

But don't worry. I'm not about to give anyone a dissertation about this. Just take me at my word.

1 comment:

  1. LOL!! I would love to hear how Bugs Bunny's language developed......

    And thanks for the flashbacks to tornadoes. "What? You've seen Twister? You own Twister? Did you know that Jo........."