One of the things we learn to do is to preempt our children and what might catch their attention. It's truly why I never let the boys watch Jackass the Movie I or II..I could just see them trying some of those stunts. It's why when CM1 watches Stupid People Tricks on TV, I emphasize the warnings that these things are STUPID. (At 21 he does need some space and a little less parental control.)
Now I know its a combination of their aspergers thinking something is challenging and not totally seeing the inherent danger in the activity that causes me angst, but they are also teenage-males and that comes with its own set of challenging-problematic-disconnected-frontal-lobe issues as well. So I am very specific when I tell them "No, no way, no how, not under any circumstances. You cannot do X under any conditions , under any situation, at any time, EVER."
Sometimes there is a rather lost sense of reality. The professionals do say that children on the spectrum cannot always differentiate between fantasy, TV, the movies and real life. Well my boys could always do that. Well sometimes. At least most of the times, when the story wasn't very personal to them. However, we did have an incidence once....
It was 5th grade. CM1 had just finished reading The Devil's Arithmetic. (By the way, a very age appropriate book.) It is the story of a young modern Jewish-American girl who is transported back to Poland on the eve of the Holocaust when she opened the front-door to symbolically let in the prophet Elijah during the Passover Seder. CM1 was now terrified to open the door for the prophet Elijah at Passover.
We had to have a long talk with CM1.
There is no such thing as time travel..not yet.
God is not going to send you back to live through the Holocaust.
Of course not. It would never happen.
It took years for him to open the stupid door again during Seder.
Well I learned my lesson.
Of course today he has no time for a Seder at all. No, its not about Elijah and the door. But it is about the Holocaust, and what he sees as God's abandonment of the Jewish people. (I've mentioned that I am not Job when it comes to God, well apparently neither is CM1.) He only goes along with the Seder because he lives in our house and we make my Mr. Atheist/Agnostic/Secular-Zionist-Jew. But he kvetches the entire time and invariably gets into a fight with CM2 about the existence of God, usually ending in a Google search about the big bang (scientific theory not the show) and how science and religion mesh.
Now, everything they pick up isn't necessarily bad, it could just be annoying. Something that you know is gong to drive you out of your skull. Like that toy your in-laws gave the kids over holiday that makes this awful awful high-pitched sound as your children try to kill all the aliens that have landed on planet Earth. You know that toy for which you have sworn undying allegiance to Satan if he would just find some way to punish your in-laws forever.
Well last night on The Big Bang Theory, our loveable Sheldon missed his regularly scheduled haircut, which of course meant that his hair was now becoming unruly. Or what passes of unruly in the world of Sheldon Lee Cooper. He promptly decided to let other aspects of his life go as well...his spot was open to guests. Yeah, no kidding. He didn't care anymore, well at least at that moment that he decided to let his hair, all 1cm longer of it, hang out.
He then went beatnik....well a scaled down physicist kind of beatnik, as per Richard Feynman.
Bongos, bongos everywhere and not a geek in sight.Well except for those us us who were watching the show. And a very enamored CM1 watching Sheldon transform himself into a totally "cool cat."
I knew what was going on in CM1's head too. I quickly turned to him and said, "No bongos."
"Awwee," came the response. I knew it. He had it in his head if not to buy a set of bongos, then to create adhoc bongos out of something in the house. He would have woken us up at 3 in the morning and started talking goofy and sending himself on a bongo-led adventure, ala Sheldon. (For this reference you really do need to watch the episode sorry. WATCH HERE..The Werewolf Transformation.)
So as to make sure that this instruction was understood throughout the entire house I called upstairs to CM2 . No, he was not watching with us. He decided that he had no use for us at the moment and wanted to watch The Big Bang Theory in my room, as he pretended to fold the laundry and earn some money towards a video game. I told him too, that there will be no bongos in this house.
"Drat," came the response from upstairs.
You see I understand my customers. I may not totally get how their minds work, but I know when they think something is terrific. I also know that they think Sheldon is the bomb.
So for now its all quiet. No bongos except for watching reruns of last night's episode. Which is just fine. As long as the bongos stay in television-land, they can watch that episode as much as they want.
I do have a bottle of Advil at the ready though.
Until next time,