Recently, we embarked on a day trip to see a car show and then to stroll around Baltimore’s inner harbor. Even though it’s February, it was such a nice day that we were able to see some street performers, we took pictures with our jackets off and we even got ice-cream. At one point a man began walking beside us. Jay said hello to him: “Hellooo, there old man.” We all giggled and I apologized on Jays behalf. The man took it well though and said, “Hey, I suppose you are right. I am an old man. My name is Larry” They continued to walk and talk for about a block. That in and of itself was enough to make me smile; Seeing Jay interact with a stranger so easily. But then as he was about to head in a different direction, Larry said to Jay: “Well, you take care and be a good boy OK. Listen to your mom; she’s the only one you’ll ever get.” Jay responded with: “Actually, I have two moms.”
There was more laughing and Larry said “Well, that works too. You still gotta be a good boy though.” Then he went on his way.
As she does every evening, Shaunie took out the kids clothes for the next day. She always makes sure they are well put together and well coordinated. When he saw yesterday evenings outfit, Jay complained. He let us know that the next day was class picture day and the outfit she had picked out, while cute, was not what he wanted to take his picture in. He needed to look fancy. He needed a button up shirt and a bow tie and a cardigan. That’s ma boy. He cares about fashion. He cares about his appearance. This boy will let us know when he needs a hair cut or will ask for new shoes to match new shirts. I don’t want him to be vein – Not at all – But the truth is, I don’t mind. I care too. You won’t catch me going out in sweats and the only pair of sneakers I own were a gift. I think I was supposed to wear them when I work out. Except, I don’t work out. Anyway, back to Jay and his fancy outfit … I hope his picture comes out well. When I dropped him off at school this morning he asked the teacher if he looked handsome; Of course she said yes and he beamed. Maybe we need to work on his modesty.
Understanding teasing doesn’t come naturally to Jay. He takes things literally so he sees it all as bullying and he is not a fan. I am sure that’s a product of his autism. Knowing that doesn’t exempt him from getting teased at home though. The other day, we all sat down to have a family dinner. Jay had 2 beef patties on his plate and I had (among other things) broccoli. I don’t like broccoli. Like, AT ALL. As I sat down, I told Jay that only one of the patties were actually his and I was going to take the second one for myself and give him some of my broccoli in exchange. His face fell for a split second – Then, he got a smirk and said “You are just joking. Aren’t you.” The “aren’t you” wasn’t said like a question. It was said like a statement. It might have taken 9 years, but he’s getting it. That’s a great thing because otherwise he’d be in for a rough life. To illustrate my point, lemme say here that I got a new niece last week and she’s a tiny little thing. I first saw her when she was just 2 days old and I am in love and I am going to spoil her rotten and be everything to her that an Auntie is supposed to be – But, I was already teasing her. I couldn’t help it. Her feet are huge. LOL! It’s all love though. Really.
Coming home from a trampoline park last week, Jay found a bag of mini cookies in the car. Nilla wafers to be exact. When he opened the bag, Shaunie asked him if she could have 2 of them. He said no and proceeded to empty the entire bag into his mouth at once. When he was done, he rubbed salt into the wound by saying “Mmmm, those were some gooooood cookies.” Then he laughed and laughed and laughed.
Well – Last night Shaunie made chocolate chip cookies at home and after dinner Jay asked if he could get one. She said nope. “You didn’t share with me last week so now I’m not gonna share with you. That’s how it works“. He said he was sorry. He made crying noises. He pouted. Ultimately he went to bed without getting a cookie and he was mad. A part of me thought she was being too hard on him but I do think he learned a valuable lesson. That’s just one more reason I’m glad for her and her parenting style. I would have wanted to be tough like that but I would’ve probably caved when he said he was sorry. He’ll get a cookie (or 3) at school. After he went to sleep, Shaunie packed them for him in a ziploc bag and put them in his lunch box.