I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Pet Police

I have decided that the evils of television may not be quite as bad as I am prone to preach about. The children have discovered ‘Animal Planet,’ a channel showing non stop wild life of every kind. There is a particular programme [translation = show] where abused animals and their misfortunes are displayed. The RSPCA [translation = Humane Society?] have been dubbed the ‘pet police’ by my offspring, all of them. Yes, it's a joint venture. They discussed it amongst themselves, and when the 'moment comes' they all shout 'send for the pet police.' Really gladdens a mother's heart to see her children working with one accord for a common goal.
Additionally, this has given me a new and powerful weapon against the ever growing developmental progress that they keep making when I'm not paying attention. 'Be nice to cats/ pets/ snails/ living creatures of any kind or I'll call the pet police!" It's my new mantra. I use it often, even when it's not strictly applicable - don't bite the leg on that plastic bear or I'll call the pet police!'
'But it's a toy, a plastic toy!"
"Don't argue with me, it's the principal that counts."
"What will the pet police do?" I think carefully, as I don't want to get this the wrong way around and have to pay for a few decades of trauma therapy for them all. "WEll, if you're mean to animals then the pet police come and take the pets away and give them to someone else who will love them properly.' I pause for breath and to run a quick inventory in case I have mis-spoken in my longer than usual, completely off the cuff spiel. Three pairs of saucer eyes indicate that I was about right.

I know that I'm over doing a good thing, but it works so well! It's so effective and get instant positive results. It's hard to resist. After a few days, I can tell that the magic of the words is beginning to wear off. I retreat muttering to myself about 'consumer over - use,' and 'come to think of it, as the responsible adult I think they’d cart me away first.” I mutter to no-one in particular, although of course that is the phrase that everyone hears and understands all too clearly, despite the speech delays and the auditory processing difficulties. “What do you mean?” she asks, her face a study of incredulity.
“What? What! Oh what? Well, if any of you do anything wrong, you are all under 18, which means that you are not adults, which means that I am responsible if you do something wrong.”
“You mean you’d go to jail,” she gasps. I think hard for a nano second before answering “yes.” I am still in two minds about that answer, which I know will come back to bite me.

When it comes back to bite me within the hour, “go on! Phone them, phone them, I want them to come and take you away,” in joint response to a refusal to do one’s share of tidying up, and the prospect of a mother free evening, I am more than ready. “Oh bliss I get to spend the whole night in pet prison with all the lovely cats, dogs, bunnies and guinea pigs and no horrible children.” A little underhand, I know, but the effect is electrifying. “You can’t go, we’ll be all alone, you have to stay with us!”
“Oh no I don’t, I’m of to prison with the animals, I can hardly wait.” A tad cruel but she speaks on behalf of the junior members of the family as a collective.
“You don’t know the number!” she sneers, the one that is always emblazoned across the television screen.

“Oh yes I do, it’s 408 626 8859.”
“What it’s nearly the same as ours!”
"That's right, we want the local branch not Detroit or Houston!'
“You’re making it up, you’re faking, you’re lying.”
“See you later alligator! Oooh, I wonder if they have any alligators there too?”
“I hope it eats you!”
“Excuse me, I need to use the phone.”
“Oh no you don’t!” She rips the cable from the wall.

“Your choice dear! Tidy or bye bye?"

Fictional Police report filed Friday, January 12, 2007

Nobody eats fruit around here!

The Sheriff arrived at 5:15 p.m. minus horse but with very shiny, pointy star badge. Please not that any errors in transcription are due to the indeterminate country of origin of the police personnel.

Quote - I was called to the property in question, responding to an anonymous tipster regarding a noisy disturbance. On entering the premises, I noted three semi clad children leaping about the place in an uncontrollable manner. An adult female identified herself to me as their parent. Fortunately the old crow was not scantily clad, however her wild behaviour indicated that she was in fact the ring leader. Although virtually incoherent, I did manage to piece together a few irrelevant details, as to the cause of the disturbance.

Note evidence 1 – item = the peel of an orange
The parent appears to be irrationally fixated upon the different sub species of orange, insisting that the peel in question, was not that of an orange but indeed, that of a Satsuma. I had to endure a long treatise as the options available, which included, but was not limited to: Clementine’s, tangerines and Minolas……….. Their significance or the importance of their distinctive characteristics was lost on me. I took this as an indication that the inhabitants are vegetarians, devoid of the karma afforded to us meat eaters.

It may well be that the parent's real complaint was of a 'littering' nature, although I am given to understand, by the said parent, that citrus peel is 'bio-degradable.' I advised the parent that I was familiar the term 'bio-degradable' but failed to see it's relevant in a domestic, interior context?

The parent declared that her eldest son had eaten a Satsuma of his own volition. I tried to determine whether the said food item had been tampered with, adulterated or interfered with in some other manner, such as to provoke fear and consternation throughout the family. Parent denied credibility of my ascertions.

Upon further questioning it became clear to me, that the family was not in fear of an incident of poisoning, as I had at first assumed. I soon determined that ‘fear’ was not the paramount emotion coursing through the family members, but rather ‘elation.’ I am still at a loss as to why it should be that a celebration had embraced the family following consumption of an orange by one member.

The member in question addressed me as follows “are you dah cop guy?” I confirmed that his powers of observation were correct.
“You see I dah one who does not eat dah fruit. I don eat the vegetables evver.” Whilst I fail to register the significance of such a statement, the child was obviously happy and I saw no need to detain them any longer. I gave a brief consideration as to whether to file a ‘wasting police time’ report, but though better of it.

Trading, a reality check

He accosts me in the kitchen, “hey mom, I wanna play shops. Get me the stuff.” At last! Horray, he wants to play something normal, something that other children want to play and it’s only taken five and a half years. I think of all the packets, boxes and jars I saved from the recycling a couple of years back, so that we could play shops, together with the till and pretend money so that we could model 'how one behaves' and 'what one does' in a shop. Needless to say it was one of my more spectacular failures. I don't think I broke down the entire sequence into small enough bits and I failed to take account of all possible phobias and unexpecteds, as I didn't know their full extent.
“What do you need dear? Shall I go and get the till?”
“Till! Till? I don need till. What I need till for?”
“The till has all the money in, the pretend money.”
“Money! Money? I don need money. What I need money for?”
“Well what do you want then?”
“I want bricks.” [translation = blocks] O.k., not quite the answer I was expecting. I haul out the box of bricks.
“Shall we play together?” I offer, even though I should be cooking supper, but it’s too good an opportunity to miss.
“No I don want to play with you, I want to play with him.” He stabs his index finger towards his brother. I am rejected as potential playmate. His brother is inaugurated into potential playmate status. Better and better. Do I have the opportunity to observe some parallel play perchance?

“Here you wan dis one or dis one?” he asks his little brother in rather an abrupt tone, but within socially acceptable levels of appropriate.
“I wan the red one, no, no, no, de yellow one.” They trade bricks.
“You don want dat one! Dat one is no good!” the little one warns.
“Look!” he shoves the brick under his brother’s nose, “it has a bad bit.”
“Where I don see it?”
“There! Right there! Look with your eyes, on the corner!” his finger nail identifies a tiny flaw. His anger rises at his brother’s inability to see what is so obvious to him.
“That’s o.k.” he says magnanimously, “it don’t bother me, I’m o.k. with that.”
“You are?”
“Sure, what’s the problem anyways?” His little brother’s face is a study of disbelief. Where minute discrepancies are blatant and unacceptable to him, to his brother, they are hardly discernible and of even less bother.
I predict that the bigger brother will be like his father, happy with a bargain, a good trade. I predict that his little brother will also be like his father in other ways, unable to make a decision, overwhelmed by choices, fearful of missing the best offer, "shopping" for hours but returning empty handed. Spouse appears by my side, I check to see if his ears are burning red, but he asks “what are they doing?”
“Playing micro economics in a very closed 'perfect' society, still based on the barter system, without the use of a token system of exchange, yet.”

Food Police

“But I’m hungry!” he screams.
“There are grapes on the table if you’re hungry.” He continues to stare at me, hands on hips, forehead thrust outward ready to charge. I keep my countenance bland, hoping that this will deflect the head butt.

Bull? [translation = full body charge] or goat ?[translation = head only.] My ribs may be bruised but there is no other indication of capitulation on my par. I am resolute and immovable. His nostrils literally flare, a skill I wouldn’t mind acquiring myself. His shoulders shrug attached to rigid arms and clenched fists, “o.k. then, if that’s gonna be how it’s gonna be!” He stomps off past me, in nearly a huff, I think? Yes, I think it's definitely a huff.

I think I like huffs. I think I consider a huff to be progress.

Tentative Steps

He sees his name on the envelope. I can't think of any teacher in their right might who would have written to me, their pupil at the same age. Times have changed.

I open it for him because it is made of paper and his fingers do not function well with such materials. [translation = paper, such as the wrapping on wax crayons, and on many other everyday paper examples, are aversive due to how they feel, which means that he avoids touching them] Even though this is technically a missed ‘therapy’ opportunity, I’m more anxious that he makes the human connection, the social interaction, which is especially tricky since the ‘human’ isn’t present.

It’s only us, him and me, not the writer of the note. It is from his former Pre-K teacher. 6 cursive lines of thanks. He reads it smoothly, his pupils trundle over the font until the end, where the ‘Ms.’ makes him stumble, until he recognizes the name that follows. His face is a picture of wonderment and delight, just as it should be.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button