What IS a Tootsie Roll?!

Yesterday was a typical day with Aaron.  But is any day with Aaron ever really typical?  I guess that depends on your definition and experience.  Let’s see…….

He was up early, as is usual anymore.  When he came downstairs he was full of talk concerning his keyboard, knowing that if he showers and does his other routine morning duties then Mom just might put in the keyboard so that he can play a game before we leave for his day group.  I urged him to just sit awhile and take his time, and yet I knew that this could backfire on me.  If I take too much of Aaron’s time, then he will get angry when he has to get off his computer later, saying that it’s my fault that he didn’t get to play longer, etc., etc.  I was already into the balancing act and he had only been downstairs a few minutes.

I had the radio on and was enjoying the Christmas music.  “That’s dumb,” Aaron informed me in his monotone voice. 

“What’s dumb?” I asked, although I knew. 

“Playing Christmas music.  It’s not Christmas yet!” he replied.

No amount of cheery talk of Christmas would change his mind, I knew.  I’ve allowed Christmas to come early for us this year as I’ve already worked on decorating the house, a job I’ve always done after Thanksgiving. The decorations don’t seem to bother Aaron, but the music is a different matter.  It’s not the first time that he has told me that this Christmas music doesn’t fit right now.  I get it, Aaron, I get it.

The rest of the morning went well, with Aaron getting his chores done and then being allowed some computer time.  Before we left the house, I saw that he had a small tootsie roll in his hand, which he unwrapped and popped into his mouth.   “Mom, I haven’t had a tootsie roll in a long time!” he declared.  And so this simple experience became of great importance as we drove to meet his group.  Do any of you remember his mayonnaise/mustard dilemma that I have written about in the past?  He still has such a hard time figuring out the difference in these two condiments.  What is mustard?  What is mayonnaise?  Is mayonnaise white mustard?  And at Subway he has asked for white mustard on his sandwich, to the great confusion of the one doing the sandwich fixing and the great delight of me as I have watched this scenario unfold.

So the tootsie roll issue reminded me of the mayonnaise issue.  “Mom, what’s a tootsie roll?” he asked.  I told him that a tootsie roll is a piece of candy.  Seems simple to me, but nothing is ever really so simple to Aaron.  A minute later – “But what IS a tootsie roll?”  OK, I thought……he needs more. 

“Aaron, a tootsie roll is chocolate candy.”

“So it’s chocolate?” he asked with surprise.

“Well, yes,” I answered, “but not chocolate like a Hershey bar.”

A few seconds of sweet silence.  Then, “So what’s a tootsie roll?”

And I realized that we were back to square one.

“It’s candy, Aaron.  Chocolate candy.”

I hoped it was enough.  It wasn’t.

“But it’s squishy.  Would you say it’s squishy?”

“Yes, Aaron.  It’s chocolate and it’s squishy.”

“So what is it?” he asked yet once again.

I knew he needed more from me, but what else could I give?  How else could I describe a tootsie roll to Aaron, who needed more precise information, obviously, on tootsie rolls? 

“A tootsie roll is sugar……and chocolate……..and other stuff……..and it’s squishy.  It’s just……..CANDY.”

Aaron pondered this for a few seconds as we neared our destination. 

“Then it’s licorice!” he exclaimed as we turned at the light.  I remember the location precisely, because these momentous moments stay ingrained in my brain.


Is mayonnaise white mustard?

Is a tootsie roll licorice?

Aaron has a way of narrowing my life down to these questions.

“No, Aaron.  It’s not licorice.  It’s a tootsie roll!  Tootsie rolls aren’t licorice.  They’re chocolate.  And there’s your ride!  Have a good day!  We’re blocking traffic.  Hurry!  Love you!”


I’m hoping he’ll forget the tootsie rolls for a while and think about………turkey.

I can hear it now.  What is turkey?  Is turkey a bird?  What kind of bird?  Does it fly?  But birds fly.  Geese fly over our house.  I know!  A turkey is a goose!!

See what I mean by typical? 

Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy your turkey……..no questions!!

Author: Patty hesaidwhatks

I'm Patty and I write about our adult son who has Epilepsy and Autism, who still lives with my husband and me, and who is a package full of many surprises and joys and challenges and TALK! Lots of talking, which creates laughter and some other reactions as well. I also write about how God shows Himself to me in everyday life.

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