xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: Autism and Office Depot, or some sort of clever title for this post

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Autism and Office Depot, or some sort of clever title for this post

Child 1 has always loved stores; anything with a long aisle. He likes to look sideways at the shelves and go running down the aisle watching the stuff fly by him. It's a sensory thing I totally don't get. I'm cool with it. This isn't always appropriate, though, depending on the store and how crowded it is or what kind of mood I'm in. (I usually just try to go to the store without either of my kids, honestly, it's just easier that way).

I've always been very vigilant about keeping an eye on him, for a number of reasons, mostly because I cave to the social pressure that it's just a weird thing to do. But, also, because I just want to keep an eye on my kid. There's nothing I hate more than a parent, or a person who isn't a parent, who is clueless that the world exists around them. You know, the rude ones that stop walking right in front of you, leave their cart and walk away. Or they'll take up 2 parking spaces right in front of your house and then go out of town, leaving their car behind for a fucking week and a half. (That may be a more specific example than you need). And, I know how kids are, of course, having had a few myself. I know they will scream and meltdown regardless of where you are; they will ask you inappropriate questions like "why are you so fat?" or they'll try to grab things out of your hands, or whateverthefuck kids do in a store. Kids are kids, and it's up to their parents to teach them proper social behavior. The question of "what's wrong with kids today?" is phrased improperly, because there's nothing wrong with kids today. Instead we should be asking "what's wrong with parents today?"

Anyway, this is kind of a life mission of mine. My kids will not be these clueless fucks who only care about themselves, it's actually kind of ironic, really, that I ended up with a kid with autism, but that's not the point right now. But, in the store, with my kid with autism, I'm always hovering on the line between "appropriate social behavior" and "he's really not bothering anybody so who cares what he's doing?" And he's not bothering anybody, except maybe for those obnoxious, nosy Berkeley hippies who think it's their responsibility to tell everybody else what to do and how to live (the other end of the spectrum of "clueless fucks," by the way) but, really, there isn't much that's not going to bother those people (uptight bitches, the lot of them). When he was little, I was always hyper sensitive about his whereabouts, and constantly making him stop having his running down the aisle fun and stand next to me. Over the years, though, I've lightened up about it, because, really, it's not that big of a deal for a kid to be running up and down the aisles. He's never once bumped into anybody, or knocked anything down, and I've learned that while it may look like he's not aware of his surroundings, he actually very much is. So, I trust him. And, over the years I've lightened up and let him have his fun.

(One time he was "arrested" by the staff at Berkeley Horticulture Nursery and taken to the front desk, where they paged me over the loudspeaker. He wasn't even 4 and not very verbal at the time and I was VERY proud of him for being able to answer the question of "what is your name" but less so when I heard "Will the parents of Child 1 please come to the front? He needs you." Nosy Berkeley fucks! He wasn't bothering anybody, he just REALLY likes to watch plants fly by his head!!!)

Sometimes he'll ask to go to a particular store because he knows they have the best aisles, and today he asked to go to Ikea. We compromised on Office Depot, though, because I actually needed something from there. So, we go in, and he instantly takes off running in the other direction. The store isn't that crowded so I decide to just let him to his thing while I go looking for 1099 forms, and I tell myself to lighten up about that social behavior pressure thingy. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke! Or something. It took me about 5-7 minutes to find what I needed and that whole time I had no idea where he was. So, I'm done with my shopping and I start wandering around looking for him. I'm not panicked, because I know he would never leave the store without me, I just have to find the correct aisle. I bet toner cartridges look pretty cool when they're rushing past your head!

Eventually I start calling his name, because I'm done and want to get the hell out of there. And when I do, he comes walking right up to me.... holding a bag of M&Ms and 2 things of Reese's peanut butter cups. Just like any other kid would do! And I get to have a very typical "no, you can't have all that chocolate" conversation with him, just like a normie parent would, and we settle on just the M&Ms.  He hadn't been running up and down the aisles, at all, he was in the fucking candy section picking out his favorites! Just like any other kid would do.

Weird.



18 comments:

lebelinoz said...

Australians are easier to deal with in that respect. They ignore "bad" behaviour, then they go home and bitch about it. I pretty much let my boys run amok.

mommetime said...

You're right ~ absolutely right...something is seriously wrong with parents today (except me of course)! I enjoyed the read...thanks, Amy http://mommetime.com/

Tim@sogeshirts said...

I think you nailed it on the parents being to blame for their kids bad behavior. It's also true that most kids are trained to only think about themselves. Also uptight people suck. Glad that you let him have fun and he sounds like any other kid picking out too much chocolate in the candy aisle.

Big Daddy Autism said...

Weird but awesome. Griffin usually sticks by my side so I know where he is. Also, I would have been right there with him in the candy aisle anyway.

JennieB said...

So funny when what is "normal" is what we see as "weird." Autism really has changed our perspective, and that's not always a bad thing!

Moe is still quite a flight risk so he needs to be in the cart or holding my hand, but when given the chance, he'll run and run!

Cheryl D. said...

Sounds like you two had a fun shopping trip--and he even scored M&M's! Yay!

Karli said...

When it comes to the problems with kids these days, you nailed it!

@jencull (jen) said...

My fella does the running thing while looking out the corner of his eye, I think it is hilarious and so does he!! Hehehe to the sweets though, Child 1 got you good! Jen

This side of Typical said...

well, if you'd gone to Ikea, you would have had to negotiate over strange Danish cookies instead.

My boy is still small enough to stay IN the cart--but i have a feeling we might be in this same boat (he LOVES to watch things shoot past the corner of his eye)

Claire said...

Ikea...you kid likes Ikea? Woohoo! I'm there, and I will take him for a day and we will run up and down the aisles together. Oh...the joy!

mckellipgirl said...

Awesome post. I completely agree on the parent vs. child issue. How is a child to learn to behave when they aren't taught?

Anyway, I'm glad you had a good trip. :)

Not Just Another Mother Blogger! said...

Hooray!!! Normal-type kid stuff! Enjoy it!

Jessica said...

Love it, especially the toner cartridge part. I would have so gone for Ikea too... this post left me wondering what your Berkley friends would think about our in-store armpit conversation this evening. We would have SO been arrested and taken to the front.

jillsmo said...

Oh, no, armpit conversations are ALWAYS appropriate, especially in Berkeley. It's unattended children that are the problem.

Alicia D said...

omg... i am just reading and reading, post after post and laughing like ive never laughed before. this is a riot!! :)

mylittleecho said...

Loved this story. :)

jillsmo said...

Thanks! :)

Nadine D. said...

hee hee, this was funny- glad I stumbled onto it! I'm not a parent with a child with Autism, just an SLP who loves her job and her kids- so I won't pretend to "understand", but man, did I giggle out loud just thinking of your son just standing there with the candy like "what? what the heck did you think I was doing?"

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.