Sunday, December 18, 2011

Live-- From The Couch!

It's Christmas break!  Woohoo!  I'm still in my bathrobe!

Got some quotes for ya:

1. Ruby: (exasperated) "Why is my nose so shiny?!"
Me: "You're getting to the age where that happens."
Ruby: "What?!  You mean I'm getting to the age where my body parts are going to start getting shiny?!"
Me: "Uhhhhh--"
Ruby: "I'm going to need a sign that says, 'Caution, shiny body parts may cause permanent blindness'."
LM: "Don't worry, people won't notice your weird nose."
(Time to introduce Ruby to pressed powder....)

2. LM: "I told Mason that if he didn't work harder in school, he'd grow up to be a stinky fisherman!"
(Way to speak encouragement into people's lives, bud.  However, stinky fisherman oftentimes make very good livings....)

3. Hubby: (asleep-- and angry) "You'd better get thinkin'!"
(Must've been dreaming about one of his students.)

4. LM: "Mom, you're the best mom ever!"
Me: "Ahhh, thanks, bud!"
LM: "And Dad...he's close to the best dad."

5. LM: "Mom, come see...I'm redecorating my room!"
Me: (looking at some unauthorized artwork on his dresser, then scowling at him) "What's this?"
LM: (looking guilty and sheepish) "Uh, sorry Mom, that's not part of the tour."
(But it'll be part of the cleanup, right?)

6. Ruby: "You know how they say, 'holy infant so tender and mild'?"
Me: "Yeah?"
Ruby: "That makes me think of chicken."
(Gee thanks, Rube, now it will for the rest of us too.)

7. LM: (keeping me apprised of his progress on self-censoring his thoughts) "Mom, don't worry, I didn't call Robert fat today."
Me: (nervously) "Uhhh, that's good.  What...did you say?"
LM: "I said that if we had a humongous cake, Robert would definitely eat it."

8. LM: (looking at a picture of Ruby, then very casually stating) "Hey, Rube, you look hot there."
(Ruby was disgusted by this compliment.  Apparently we need to let LM know that, generally speaking, brothers do not call their sisters "hot" in any circumstance.)

9. LM: "Justin Beaver's pretty good...for a beaver."
(We've tried to correct LM, but it's impossible.)

10. LM: (looking at our dog fondly) "I really value this mutt."

That's it for now!  In case I don't post beforehand, merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A New Friend

Our church partners with an organization that matches elementary school children (from disadvantaged backgrounds) with an adult mentor.  When I heard that the school was in need of a mentor for a 2nd grade boy with Asperger's...well, it was irresistible!  I started today.

If you've met one Aspie, you've Aspie.  They're all a little different, so I wasn't expecting this particular fella to be a carbon copy of my LM.  But there were so many similarities I felt an immediate connection to the kiddo.  (It's quite possible he'll be a great new source of quotes, in fact.)

For instance, when asked (per a questionnaire) whether he speaks a foreign language he replied definitively, "Yes."

"Oh?  Which one?"

"Cat.  'Meow'," he demonstrated.  He wasn't kidding around.

"Great news!" I exclaimed, "I speak Cat, too!"  But we conversed in English the entire time, as we are both more fluent in our native tongue than that of the feline variety.

When I first met him he wouldn't look at me (familiar!) and when I asked him questions he didn't respond (familiar!), but as soon as we sat down and began building our robots out of K'nex, the floodgates opened (familiar!).  So I decided to probe him to find out if he was aware of his diagnosis.

"Hey, guess what?  I have a little boy just a year older than you-- he has Asperger's.  Have you...ever heard of that?"

He didn't even look up to acknowledge my question, he was too busy connecting his tiny building pieces together, but eventually he mumbled, "Nope."  He was completely uninterested in hearing more, and I know the futility of trying to press on regardless.  So, unfortunately, this is a subject we'll have to avoid.

When it was time for me to leave we took his lunch tray back to the cafeteria to return it.  We walked in and stood in a line of kids waiting to do the same thing.  Suddenly he stopped, shoved his tray in my hands and shouted, "I'm not returning it!"  His eyes wild and wide.

"You're not?" I asked, confused.  This is pretty routine stuff, after all, and most Aspies are big fans of routine.  He started to run off, leaving me standing there with his dirty tray.  I hastily threw it on the pile (knocking a small girl in the head in the process-- oops!) and rushed to catch up to the little guy.

"Why didn't you want to return your tray?"

"I'm scared!" he shouted at me, angry.

"You're scared of what?" I asked, determined to get to the bottom of this.

"The Kindergartners!"

I withheld my giggle and probed further.  "So...the Kindergartners are scary?"



"I don't know them!"

Aha!  "So, you're scared of people you don't know?"

"Yes!"came the firm, yet calmer reply.  He was upset, marching back to his classroom in a major huff.  Those dang Kindergarters had really upset his routine.  Normally he doesn't encounter them at lunch, but being with me had changed his schedule.  Good to know....

"Thanks for hanging out with me today!  I know you really wanted a boy mentor," I offered as a parting statement, "so is it okay that I'm a girl instead?"

"You know...I was just thinking of a girl mentor.  I was thinking of you."  He didn't look at me.  If he had, I might have cried.

He stepped into his classroom and didn't look back.  I already adore him.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Head's Up!

I walked into Ruby's room tonight and found her lying in bed, giggling as she read a book.

"Watcha readin'?" I asked, moving toward the bed.  As I sat down beside her I noticed the Bible in her hands-- the object of all that cheerful amusement. I tried to recall any laugh-out-loud scriptures I'd read recently, but none came to mind.  Although, I suppose Song of Solomon offers some pretty quirky possibilities....  Meanwhile, Ruby's still chuckling, hardly paying any attention to me at all.

"Okay, what's so funny?" I asked, because at this point I was dying of curiosity.  I love a good laugh, after all.  Ruby pointed to 1 Samuel chapter 18 and I desperately racked my brain for any possible comedic relevance to this particular book.  I came up empty.  So Ruby began to read verse 25.

"Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’” 

I smiled.  Aha!  Ruby looked up at me, eyes gleaming. "So, what did David do?  Just, like, fill up a basket with foreskins, hand it to Saul and say, ' this enough foreskins for ya?'"

This made me start laughing, too.  Am I really talking about circumcision (on dead bodies, no less!) with my tween daughter?  I mean, if she and I were watching a movie where collecting foreskins was a major part of the plot, I'd probably turn it off.  I eyed the Bible in her hands-- yeah, definitely PG-13, that.

"You know, Rube, I have no idea how David went about presenting all those Philistine foreskins to Saul."  I shuddered at the thought of harvesting such a collection.  "Aren't you just glad it's not a requirement for marriage these days?"

Ruby imitated her father. "Okay, you can marry my daughter, but first I'll need 50 Swedish foreskins from you.  If you can't get 50, then a split of 25 Swedish and 25 Canadian will be fine."

We bust up laughing.

Soon after, I turned out the light and we said our goodnights.  1 Samuel 18:25....  Who knew?