Monday, March 10, 2008

Well, Excuse Me!

A co-worker called me tonight to inquire about Friday's outcome. After I told him the day's events, we talked about Curt in general.

I told him Curt was somewhat of a computer whiz, as much a whiz as one can be at age 3.8. I relayed the fact that he is adding and spelling on his computer games. I am proud of that fact.

When I thought about it later, I realized I felt I was making excuses, overcompensating. Many people (mostly women) I know talk about their children with pride. They spread photos of "Citizen of the Month," they scored 99 percentile on their kindergarten test, etc. Why is it that I feel like I can't talk about my child's abilities without feeling uncomfortable?

I have ideas:

1.) It is against my nature to brag. Yes, we have a nice home, but the bathrooms need work. Yes, we are buying rental properties, but I downplay it -- or don't tell people at all. I wouldn't want to be "show-y!"

2.) I'm afraid they won't believe me. People see Curt and, let's face it, he's usually not talking. How in the hell can he be adding and spelling? Yet, he is.

I can promise you I am proud of my little boy. He has made great strides and says new words every day. Still, it is difficult to handle the looks I sometimes encounter. They guess his age younger, even though he is above average in height.

My usual response to strangers is, "He's a man of few words!"

But, he can add like a first grader. I must learn to focus on the positive and not the negative. That's a good practice for my thoughts about Curt, and my thoughts on life in general. I only wish it were as easy to do as it is to say.

PS. If you have a late-talker, you don't say he's 3 or 4. He (or she) is 3.2, 3.8, or 4.6. That way, you'll know exactly how far behind they are. Why do we do these things to ourselves?!


Coyote Bebop said...

You should start "polarizing" your responses.

"How come he doesn't say anything?"

should be met with;

"I don't know. Maybe he thinks that you're too stupid to talk to".

Start making everybody ELSE think that the no talking is their fault.

Jeanna said...

I LOVE this idea. Or, maybe, "He's just very particular who he talks to." Then, wait to see the light go off in their brain.


Missy said...

I LOL'd at your post. This could have been me talking...

My son is a computer whiz, too. I finally forced myself to stop overcompensating or explaining when people comment on his lack of speech (or even to family members who have harassed us about the autism thing). We're done making excuses. He's an extraordinary child who is too smart to talk to the idiots who don't "get" him. ;)

Someone on the LT message had a great idea for a t-shirt... "No, I'm not autistic...I just don't LIKE you!!"

Mom to Ethan - 3.6 ;)