When Aaron comes home from his day group, around the time I’m fixing supper, he usually spends some time telling me about his day. Today his group went to the zoo and he was all abuzz over the crowds of kids there. “Mom, were they on a vacation from school? Is that why they were at the zoo?” He told me about the long lines as they waited to get in the zoo, and all the kids, and all the teachers and parents……..as well as talk of monkeys and giraffes and the bears that played with a ball and so forth and so on.
I usually try to find out what Aaron has spent his money on, and instruct him on how to make better food choices, and encourage him not to give all his leftover money to his good friend, Rosie. “Aaron, did you give Rosie any money today?” And he recently answered, “No, I didn’t give Rosie any money. I bought her a drink.” Then I tell him that this is nearly the same as giving her money, and that Rosie’s mother doesn’t want Aaron giving her money or buying her food, and all the while I know that he’ll be doing it all over again tomorrow. But we still try to get the point across, hoping that someday it will register. Today he said, “Mom, I didn’t want to give Rosie any money today…………so I told her that I didn’t have any money, but I really did.” Therefore, the lesson today was on lying. Even with good intentions, Aaron, you really told a lie. And he asked, “So what did you want me to do?” And I told him I wanted him to tell the truth, but still not give Rosie money. Tomorrow is another day, another opportunity for Aaron to be honest but firm as he handles this dilemma he created with Rosie, and another day for us to be highly surprised if he remembers the lesson……or cares to remember the lesson.
As we talk about what Aaron spent his money on during his day, we nearly always talk about the food he has purchased or the food that was given to him at a day group party, etc. On Tuesdays his group often goes to Wal-Mart. Aaron likes Cheddar Pasta Salad, or sometimes he’ll get a sub. That’s a much better choice than boxes of candy or boxes of rolls, so we try to reinforce those positive decisions. Remember when I wrote about him going to Subway and asking for white mustard? Yesterday he told me about his Cheddar Pasta Salad (which has a mayonnaise dressing) and he said, “I tried to eat that Cheddar Pasta Salad out in the sun and it became nasty. You know – that mustard. Mustard shouldn’t be in the sun.” I agreed, but told him that it was mayonnaise………and he agreed……….even as I knew that for some reason, his brain has decided that mayonnaise is really white mustard. Whatever.
He told Gary and I, “You know at Wal-Mart, where I get the Cheddar Pasta Salad…………..they know me.” We gave each other that knowing and somewhat fearful look as Aaron kept on talking, and we were stuck back there on the fact that they know Aaron at the Wal-Mart deli counter. We hope that it’s a knowledge based on the frequency of his visits there……….not knowledge based on his actions. But Aaron is – well- unique…….and so we are sure that part of the deli employee’s knowledge of Aaron is based on that uniqueness. We can only imagine.
Aaron told us that when he walked up to the counter, before he could say anything, the worker asked him if he wanted a Cheddar Pasta Salad. Then Aaron added: “If they keep trying to know me, maybe they’ll try to give me my stuff for free!” And he laughed at that thought, but I fully expect him to someday ask the worker at the deli counter if, since they are trying to know him, he can have his Cheddar Pasta Salad for free! I hope they have a sense of humor and laugh. And don’t call security.
Today after going to zoo, his group went to Sonic. Aaron got some chocolate milk shake concoction, to hear him tell it, and I do believe he did because half of it looked like it was on his shorts and shirt. He pointed it out to me (like he had to?) and said, “Mom, look at where I spilled milkshake on me. Every time the van turned at those turn sites, the milkshake smoothed out of the cup onto my pants!”
Hmmmm………OK. A milkshake smoothing out of your cup really does cause a mess, huh? Nothing worse than a milkshake smoothing out of a cup, let me tell you! And those turn sites…….just plain dangerous for milkshake drinkers!
We’re always telling him to be careful about how he eats and drips and spills………so I have to wonder if he just told me a smooth story.
Tomorrow, by the way, is popcorn at the theater. Full of butter that we tell him not to get because he doesn’t need it but he always does get it………..and he shares with Rosie or gives her the second bucket, his refill.
See how well I know Aaron……..without even trying!