Saturday, December 11, 2010

Arthur and I wish I were Invisible


A couple weeks ago Andrew and I were having comfy-cozy time. It's the time from about 6:30 until bedtime when he is too spent from his day and I, too, am spent from his day. We cuddle on our big bed and watch television. Arthur came on. As soon as the episode began and then introduced Carl, I knew the character had Aspergers. By the way, kudos to Marc Brown for teaching kids about disabilities - physical, emotional or social.

Andrew was very interested in this Carl character. We had a long talk about Aspergers and what it means.

Fast forward a week or two later, Andrew in the car to his friend, Nicholas. "Nicholas, you know I'm very smart but my brain is wired differently. I have something called Asperger's." I choked up but I was very proud.

This week has been again rough. Andrew had strep the first part of the week and has gotten into even more bad behavior. He is mimicking a lot of kid’s behaviors – i.e., “J_______ kissed the butt of a person on a book today.” Then at the psychologist office he is kissing the woman’s butt on the magazine cover. “N_____ told me how to get my way --- make a mean face and if that doesn’t work hit.”
Trust me, Andrew can hit on his own – but he is coming home with a very fresh mouth and attitude. I can’t believe those kids have that much free time for him to overhear or learn these behaviors. I’m just really confused – especially the last few weeks. He was and still is very upset about the whole “bed head” incident --- this week – he said he wanted to stick a knife in his head to make his hair stay down. The bed head incident was a couple weeks ago - when his hair was a little Something About Mary-ish. It was a particularly rough morning - trying to get him ready - dodging blows and getting him dressed. I wet his hair down and did the best I could. A group of his classmates started laughing and calling him names he was distraught. He thought bed head meant he was stupid.

His lips are very dry this week – and bleeding – I put Vaseline on them – he was in tears sobbing – that the kids were going to say he has lipstick on – I’ve talked to a couple other moms and they are feeling the same way- the kids are coming home really fresh and with a bad attitude – this is first grade – where are these kids getting this attitude? He seems just to be having a hard time with a lot of things lately. I understand kids are kids – but they are six. Andrew would NEVER ever think of making fun of someone’s appearance at this age. (He'll beat you ala pre-grill George Foreman style but he wouldn't say - "look at four eyes"). This is learned behavior – and for six year olds to be doing this – kind of scares me for our future as a whole. If I am upset about something – and I do cry, he makes fun of that now – “Cry baby you big cry baby” -- that is new behavior and I’ve heard the same from another mother. It is sad that six year olds are so cynical.
Bryan is packing and getting ready to move back to Illinois. He's been here over almost seven years. I will be sad. He drives me nuts and while it will be great to have that room back to make into my office once again - I will miss him. I think Andrew will too. We're giving him our white car so that will make life even tougher until we get a second car.
We'll we've been up two hours - it's 6:52 a.m. and Andrew just came into the office singing "yeah you're an idiot". Thanks first grade.