On Saturdays Monkey goes to a social skills group. It’s a nice little thing where he and five other kids who can’t seem to interact with others for longer than ten minutes without having a big hairy hissy fit all work together to learn new things. Like how to read others’ facial expressions! Like alternatives to screaming in frustration! Like how to complete a given task for a trip to the prize box! The sad truth is that when Monkey tells me about a kid in the group who can’t grasp something that he has no problems with (for example, empathy isn’t one of his issues; he can read facial expressions just fine and wants nothing more than to comfort the afflicted, provided they haven’t just stomped on his Legos), I secretly comfort myself with the knowledge that “at least we don’t have to worry about THAT.”
The group lasts just 45 minutes, so we sit and wait. It’s not really enough time to go DO anything while he’s in there, and I’m unwilling to risk not being there the second he gets out. I suspect that would cause him to have one of those gigantic meltdowns that got him into this group in the first place.
This actually has nothing to do with him, but you needed to know why we were there.
I told Chickadee to bring a book with her. I had my own book and was looking forward to a bit of quiet reading. Well, Chickie felt it necessary to complain all the way there that she HATES sitting there while Monkey has group, because it is BORING and she doesn’t FEEL like reading and WOE IS HER. (Pointing out that he sits through her THREE Tae Kwon Do classes every week only quiets her for about five minutes, in case you were wondering.)
So we arrived, and Monkey went off to his group, and I tried to read my book. We’re sitting there in the waiting room with about four other parents and no other kids—much to Chickadee’s dismay—and she decided to find a way to amuse herself.
First she climbed all over me and demanded to know what I was reading and what it was about. Then she spied a WebMD magazine on the chair next to me and grabbed it up and announced she would read THAT.
“I don’t think you’re going to find that very interesting,” I told her, even while I turned back to my own book. I was glad she was maybe going to stop batting at my book for a few minutes.
“I am going to take this quiz!” she announced. I looked over. When she’d picked it up, the magazine fell open to a two-page spread which was titled in a font about four inches tall: HOW HEALTHY IS YOUR SEX LIFE?
My book dropped to the floor as I reached for the magazine. “Yeah, um, I don’t think so.” She clambered over to the next chair while waving me away. “You do NOT need to be taking any quizzes about your sex life.” A couple of the other parents looked up.
“Let’s see!” she said, undeterred. “Do I smoke? No, I do not.” She made a sweeping hand gesture to approximate putting a check mark on the page.
I couldn’t help it. I started laughing.
“Chickadee, give me the magazine, please.”
“No thank you!” she chirped. “I would like to see if I am having THE GOOD SEX!” (I guess any fears I had about scarring her with the facts of life were unnecessary.)
What happened next can only be described as a wrestling match for the magazine, made even more embarrassing by the fact that I could not stop giggling. She had my number; she knew she was being inappropriate but that I found it funny, and so I was sunk before it started.
As I flailed around trying to grab the magazine (oh, WebMD; you LOOKED so harmless) from her, she continued loudly announcing the questions. “Am I obese? I don’t think so! Am I often too tired for sex? I’m not sure!”
I guess it was lucky that she did that right at the therapist’s office. Maybe I should’ve left her there. Monkey can learn how not to call people stupidhead and she can spend the next 10 years talking about how her perceptions of sex are colored by a magazine quiz and her mother’s hysterical laughter.