When our children were little, we tried to teach them to be polite. There were certain words or phrases that we didn’t allow them to say. One of those phrases was “shut up.” We worked hard to keep from using that phrase, or allowing the kids to use it, when they were growing up.
Fast forward now to Aaron. I don’t know if it’s because this was a forbidden phrase in our home or what, but Aaron says “shut up” now. Sometimes he says it in a humorous way, with a smile or a laugh, and we know he’s not being malicious. Other times, he is more serious when he says it……..and when he is really angry, he throws it out with venom. It seems that nothing we say or do has been able to keep Aaron from uttering “shut up” from time to time.
We know that the other clients in his day group get tired of hearing Aaron say “shut up.” After his recent bad day at Paradigm, Gary and I have really been calling Aaron’s attention to how often he says “shut up”………..and then reminding him of how much it offends and bothers people, and what a better response he could use.
Aaron has really tried to cooperate with this focus for the most part. The other night he and I were having some light, fun conversation before bed……….and he laughingly told me to “shut up.” I gave him my Mom look and before I could say a word, he said, “Mom, have you noticed that I’ve stopped saying shut-up?”
I replied, “Aaron. You just said it.”
And he answered, “Well, I start to say it and then I stop saying it and then I say it.”
So now we know Aaron’s definition of stopping something. He starts, then stops, and then starts again. He kind of stops, right? I could use this for my eating habits, you know. “Well, I start to eat it and then I stop eating it and then I eat it.” Or any number of other habits that I struggle with!
I closed our bedroom door that night, and Gary and I laughed as Aaron thumped up the hall to his room. We definitely still have our work cut out for us!