Saturday, April 16, 2011

Who Says That?

Our younger son and I were at his ENT a few months ago when we ran into an acquaintance and her two young children. We see this woman usually during the Fall at a local Farmer's Market which is owned by her family. The last time we saw her, she had only one child. I congratulated her on her baby.

"Wow!" exclaimed our son. "You sure have been busy birthing!"

My heart went into my throat.

"You're like a birthing MACHINE--a busy birthing machine!" He was looking at her with wide-eyed amazement.

Ugh. I never know when he is going to say something. I need some sort of a warning sign for his mouth. Luckily she took it in stride.

As we were walking to our car following the appointment, I tried to use that example as a teachable moment of what NOT to say to people, but the lesson was practically lost on him. He simply said that he didn't know he wasn't supposed to say that.

I believe him. And, I believe that he will never again tell some random woman that she is a birthing machine; however, I also believe that a broader lesson of social graces was not learned that day.

"You know what?" he asked my neighbor one day. "I'm going to tell you something, but you're likely to forget it because you are old, and old people forget things."

Nope. He didn't learn. Life with him is certainly not boring. He calls it as he sees it. Whether this is just who he is or whether this is a result of his autism, we'll not know. It's an issue of what came first: the chicken or the egg? All I know is that once he drops these bombs, all eyes then go to me as if I had something to do with it. In reality, I'm just as shocked when it happens as everyone else is.

"Dad, you could be a Slimfast commercial, you know. You really should do it." Poor Dad. "All you've gotta do is open up a delicious shake for breakfast and lunch, drink it, and then you won't be fat."

It's a good thing that my husband has great self-esteem. He's far from the obese man that he son treats him to be. And, just to be fair, this is what I get:

"Whoa, the tops of your arms flap just like bird's wings!"

I acted like that didn't bother me, but it did.

This child needs a hefty dose of social thinking! I'm trying to get him to learn what the other person might feel when he says something critical about them, but it is a work in progress.

I sure do hope to see some improvement soon. Summer is coming. I don't know if I can handle more outbursts such as:

"EEWWWWW! This guy has hair in his armpits!!!"

Seriously, who says that?

1 comment:

  1. Sure I shouldn't be laughing but I am! F has been known to do a lot of telling it like it is too, with occasional phases of special interest in who is fat/old, who is fatter/older than whom, and what that means... etc.
    Which she could get away with at 4 perhaps, but...