Friday, August 22, 2008

Oh, To Be Retired at 14

We feel like very bad parents… I say this because our son Nick (who has special needs) doesn’t know how to do the one thing that just about every kid takes pleasure in across the globe. This thing is (gulp)…riding a bike. Oh holy confession!

We have had many bikes for him through the years and have taught him to enjoy his bike with training wheels attached, as all parents do. But when the time came for taking the training wheels off and making him learn to ride without the extra wheels (tough love, tough love), he did fine. I remember the day very well. His father would start him off and run with him until he got the hang of it--and after many tries--he did it and I remember how the tears welled up from my eyes!!

This very day was also the first time I heard him use the word "retired." “I’m ‘retired’ from that” was what he said, and I thought he said “tired.” So I would say, okay we will try again some other time…yada yada, yada.

Well, “some other time” didn’t happen very easily. He just has no interest in trying. I mean, we have tried--oh, boy, have we tried to get him to ride his bike. And again, “I’m retired with that.” (Tired? Tired?)

So FLASH forward a few years to present day and my son and I are driving through Starbuck’s (daily event, people) and we have almost the same conversation:

"Want a cookie, Nick?"
"What kind?"
"Chocolate chip!"
"Okay, got some money?" While holding out my hand as if to say: hand it over, buster!
Sometimes he just digs through my purse and pulls out whatever he finds—cute, huh!
Or he ignores me as if this silly game isn’t funny anymore.
And the latest time he said “No, I don’t have any money!”
"Well then you’ll just have to get a job and make some money!!" (half kidding)
"NO, I’m not going to work. I’m retired."
"Oh Really!!!!"

SHAZAM! I finally got it!

It’s my father’s fault! (Yeah, that’s right--blame him!) But whenever he goes over to my parents’ house for a sleep over, he notices that “retired” Grandpa is living the life:

Grandpa watches TV whenever he wants;
Grandpa and Grandma (blame her too) go off to the movies, the ice cream shop and the fair (oh, my); and he even plays on the computer everyday too!!

Hey, it’s the “Retired man’s life” and Nick has clearly tuned in and is all over it like a BAT out of Hell!! HELP!!

More on Gross Motor Skills and Aspergers/Autism

(Notice all the references to Superheroes!! Nick would be impressed! (see previous post) )

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