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Monday, April 23, 2007

Teddy Bears' picnic - boycotted

One of my sons suffers from "Ursaphobia", an irrational fear of bears, or more specifically, teddy bears. To be really picky, I should point out that it's only their "faces" that he objects to so vehemently, the claws and other accoutrement don't seem to both him one jot.

His little brother, although he was also non-verbal in a technical sense, but different sense, fixates upon words and phrases, which he repeats for as long as he is permitted to.


On the whole, I do not describe the interaction between the boys, because as with most siblings, their own personal foibles are not known. I can describe one set or a different set, but to do both at the same time is often simply too confusing. The truth of the matter is that during the average day they ‘set each other off.’

All children have soft spots, weaknesses and strength, but with mine the sheer depth and pinnacles in infinite combination can be catastrophic. They ignite like tinder and the sparks spread like wild fire. These situations challenge my parenting skills and expose my true colours, namely yellow [cowardly] or green [na├»ve / slightly nauseated] I need to make instant decisions based upon faulty and partial information. If I’m lucky, I can untangle the mess and calm everyone down. If I mis-read the situation we, quickly turn to lava.

Towit-


“If you go out in the woods today If you go out in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise,” he sings utilizing his robotic voice, whilst his brother adopts a turtle position but covers his ears. Junior heard the song and has adopted it as his signature piece. It is an unfortunate alliance since his brother loathes teddy bears.
“If you go out in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise,” he continues, slipping into Pokemon voice. His brother rolls over on his back, still clutching his ears, his face screwed up like a crumpled paper bag.

“For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic,” he concludes with a flourish in full cherubic mode. He is word perfect with the crisp diction of the echolalic. His brother keels over on his side in a foetal position, moaning quietly whilst he hunts for some words in response. Little voices shout in my head 'do something! do something! do something!' but my brain is frozen into inaction, whilst my body crouches ready to launch, a rugby style tackle. [translation = not a notion]

I hover close by since it is highly likely that his words will not come. It is much more likely, statistically speaking, that any moment now, he will erupt in a full blown meltdown that may or may not, result in him being able to pounce on his little brother and crush the life breath out of him. [translation = terminate his singing career prematurely]

“Picnic time for teddy bears,
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
Watch them, catch them unawares,
And see them picnic on their holiday,” he croons, his pronunciation meticulous, with an English accent to challenge the Queen herself. I hear growling noises bubbling up in his brother as he flops from one side to the other, the slow slapping sound of a landed salmon, apart from the cracking of knee caps.
“ See them gaily dance about.
They love to play and shout.
And never have any cares,” he adds whilst skipping on tippy toes, each hand clutching a Pokemon that dance in time. The pressure builds steadily in his brother. Please don’t let him kill him this time?
“At six o'clock their mommies and daddies
Will take them home to bed
Because they're tired little teddy bears,” …………..the bubbles effervesce but it’s the key word that lifts him to his feet, ten feet tall on tippy toes, rigid in every fibre except his mouth, “I am tired of dat song!” he says loudly, directly to his brother’s face.

We shall enjoy an awards ceremony for all parties later, as it seems that it's true that 'One man’s meat, it another man’s peanut butter!' [translation = poison]

Humble apologies to everyone who now has to suffer this tune rolling around your cranium for the next 24 hours.

22 comments:

KEYNOTER said...

Thanks for your kind note. I enjoyed reading your entry. You sound like a lovely mom! There are links to my works in progress and gallery on the top right of my blog if you care to see! I'll check in on you again now that I've found your blog!

A Bishops wife said...

My little Niles has never liked stuffed animals in general. He says they are creepy.

I love the way you write so much. If you decide to write a book let me know--I want one!

Christine said...

This was just marvelous! You have such a wonderful outlook on life!!

EA said...

Oi! I can just feel the dryness of the tinder in that room, and it's like he just stood up and made an effort to spray it all down with water. What a moment.

Melanie said...

I have enjoyed looking over your blog. You sound like a wonderful mother. You obviously have a LOT of patience.

farmwifetwo said...

My dh keeps telling me to let them battle it out alone. I do... up to a point. I have to admit I cheer (quietly where nobody can see me) when the little one gets a toy or a shove in against big bro.... no words from him in these battles yet.

S.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Wow. This so beautifully describes what autism moms go through as we watch a situation escalate, and second guess what our action should be.

This is really good writing. You truly capture the moment and the use of the poignant children's song, which is supposed to be fun and carefree but in your world just isn't.

Jerry Grasso said...

You had me on the edge of my chair...no blood, no foul! And did little one stop? Sounds like he took direction just fine from his older sibling....

gretchen said...

Yay! I could kiss him for using his words!!

My sons also torment one another, but since only one is autistic, I have a slightly easier time mediating!

KAL said...

This is so true. I often have an internal monologue with myself on how I will nip the brewing tantrum in the bud. (love the Giving Tree cake!)

aspiemom said...

Hope you get to see this comment. I'm bouncing (my oldest would love that)

YAAY! He spoke and responded appropriately!

Wooohoo!!!

kristina said...

Though lacking a sibling, Charlie has some close persons who can set him off without realizing their misdemeanors (me for one).

The version stuck in my head is the Wiggles'.

motherPie said...

I loved the cake. One of my favorite books.

Melissa said...

This sounds a little like my baby girl... except, she does it to be a tease. Not because she loves a song or a toy, but purely because she knows that Bug will scream - for some reason, she seems to take joy in this :S

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

Love that book!I cry almost every time I read it.

What an awesome cake!

Bear phobia...huh...They are kinda feaky looking aren't they?

I have a Smutz phobia....when things are gross and freaky.

Kristin

Tabba said...

I, too, was impressed with the cake.
Such a great book....

I can't wait to read more posts on here.

Joeymom said...

My two have been setting each other off all afternoon, too. Andy is a hoarder, and no-one else can touch anything he even THINKS is his. Joey (the autistic one) knows this. So he's been spending the day going over to one of Andy's toy buckets (he carries his caches around in buckets and baskets), touching whatever is on top...

yerdoingitwrong said...

That is SUCH darling cake. awwww!! I love it.

Heidi said...

There's no tension like when you know you are standing on the edge of a meltdown, you can almost feel it in the air. Brilliantly described, again. Mums living with autism become experts in conflict resolution and diplomacy - UN take note, look and learn! Have a lovely day

Pendullum said...

Awwww....
On all accounts...
And the cake is marvellous...

Haddayr said...

Thank you! You have caused two pleasant things:

1. I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed while reading this, raucously.

2. Because I was laughing so loudly and with such abandon, my husband, who has been having a long, boring conversation with someone about his painful divorce, left the room, the phone clutched angrily to his ear.

YAY!

Thida said...

This makes me laugh. It reminds me of so many times my brother (who AFAIK is typical) sang songs to torment my younger sister.

 
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