Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mouthing Off

Now, this Notable and Quotable needs substantial prefacing. 

The Rooster, a highly verbal boy with an extensive vocabulary, also talks slightly like his last name should be Gump. It's not exactly a drawl, but he talks slower than most folks where I grew up in the rural South. And what he says is best described by our ABA friend Dan, who calls it "word salad." As a result, you can't always take what Rooster tells you at face value, and it's a little like verbal charades sometimes. Naturally, since we spend so much time with him, we're pretty good at figuring out what he means, and recognizing the origins of scripts. Most people have no idea when he's scripting, because he does it rather artfully, and that sometimes can lead us into dangerous waters. When he learns new words, and the bigger the better, he sprinkles them around liberally without understanding them. His favorite word this week was "responsible." I heard him use it close to a dozen times, never meaningfully, and he resisted my attempts to inform him. 
Anyway, that is some serious lead up, huh? The conversation I'm about to share, I also must note, came with long pauses, and funny inflection, at the end of a long, intense and napless day. We were kind of snuggled up on my bed. If others who didn't know him heard it, they might take drastic measures. Me, I'm not discounting it whole cloth, but I'm not sure, for once, what to glean. Is Freud in the house? I definitely will be rethinking and stewing on this one:

Me: What is it like to be the Rooster? (Usually this kind of question would be followed by, "Can I watch TV? Will you read me a book? Can I have a cookie?)
Rooster: Mom? I wish I was never born.
Me: Rooster,  what character said that? 
Rooster: I don't know. Um, maybe Kermit? I need to be me!
Me: Are you a happy boy or a sad boy, Roo?
Rooster: A sad boy. (gives a big smile for a moment)
Me: How can I help you be happy?
Rooster: I don't know. Maybe make a big smile for me? Maybe we could go on a date some time? 
Me: I love you, Rooster. 

He also told me this, which I KNOW to be truthful and accurate, "Mommy, you have a bad nose. It's bended. I don't like it." 

Okay, then there is Peaches. She ALWAYS tells it like it is, and there is no misinterpreting. Today, (again with thanks to Andy Glockenspiel, my kids' new guru) she hits me with, "Is Rosa Parks dead?" 

Me: Yes, Peaches, she is. 
Peaches: So we can't call her? 
Me: No, we can't. 
Peaches: Because she's dead? 
Me: Yes.
Peaches: Like Noah? (of Noah's Ark...)
Me: Um, I guess like that. 
Peaches: Can I see a picture of them dead? 
Me: I can show you a picture of Rosa Parks, when she was young. (Gotta love the iPhone, as we were in the car at the time.)
Peaches: So Rosa Parks is not ever going to smile again. Because she's dead. And we can't call her. 
Me: That's right, Peaches. 
Peaches: Mommy, how do you get dead? 

Wow. I had no idea is was Deep Conversation Day. I didn't get you a card or anything. 

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