Thursday at home with Monkey

By Mir
December 2, 2011

I kept Monkey home from school yesterday because they were having one of their fantastic hippie field trips where they spend the entire day in the woods connecting to nature*.

These field trips are great, but even when Monkey’s doing okay, we have determined that I need to go with him as he pretty much requires one-on-one support for them, because if he decides to melt down in the middle of the wilderness that’s kind of a pickle for the teachers there who are dealing with other kids, too.

And right now, Monkey is maybe coming down with a cold. Maybe! I mean, who knows? How would we know? He looks a little “off,” but he’s also the kid who never knows when he’s sick, he just starts being a jerk and we’re left to puzzle it together. So. I dunno, but the day BEFORE yesterday was kind of a disaster, so I kept him home, and he was MAD.

The entire morning was spent on something of an endless, repetitive loop of:

“But I really wanted to go.”
“I know, honey, I’m sorry.”
“There’s still time! We could still go!”
“Nope, I’m sorry, we can’t. I have to work and you’re not feeling well and the decision has been made.”
“Yes, I can see that, the way you’re shrieking at me right now.”
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Mom! Can we go now?”
“Buddy, I know you’re disappointed. There will be other trips.”
“But I really wanted to go.” (Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Yank out hair.)

Once we got over that, he was convinced to do some work and rest a bit. But after lunch he wanted to show me everything he did on Minecraft and that somehow segued into wanting to recount for me every episode of every cartoon or Mad he’d watched recently, in painstaking detail, which finally put me into Social Skills Mode:

“Monkey, the thing is, I don’t watch those shows because they’re not particularly interesting to me. I know they are terribly interesting to YOU, and that’s great, but for me to sit through a play-by-play of the parts you love isn’t very relevant for me. Do you understand?”

He nodded. Then countered: “But it’s REALLY REALLY FUNNY! Everyone finds it funny! If you would just let me TELL YOU I know you would find it funny.”

I sighed. “Monkey, you’ve told me dozens of these stories and I never find them funny, because you and I have different taste in television. You think farting and people being blown up is hilarious. I really don’t.”

“You SHOULD,” he pointed out. (See, I could solve this whole problem if only I was more obedient!)

“That’s a matter of opinion, Baby.”

“How about I just tell you this ONE PART?” He was so hopeful.

“No, thank you.”

“But if you don’t think it’s funny I’ll stop!”

This had promise. “Really? If I don’t think it’s funny you’ll stop if I ask you to?”


“Okay, go ahead.”

“Okay, there was this guy—”

“Stop! Not amused. Thank you, though.”


“That worked out well. For me.”

Then he stomped away, for some reason.

Later on I knocked off work early and we made cookies together. He dumped flour everywhere and pestered me about licking the mixer paddle from the very first moment we turned the mixer on (Me: Go ahead, stick your tongue in there!), but we had a good time.

Last night we went out to dinner (welcome to Advent, the season of Holy Crap Is It Dinnertime Already? And also The Fridge Is Empty) and Otto and I sat discussing Grown Up Things and during a lull in the conversation, Monkey piped up with his latest idea for a story that includes—naturally—both farting AND explosions, so first we did the whole, “Did you notice we’re having a conversation here? One that doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re talking about?” thing, but then we just gave up and let him talk. Eventually we DID start laughing, mostly because he was just so gosh-darned amusing to himself, and then he crowed that SEE HE IS TOO FUNNY and we laughed even harder.

We went home and I let him eat cookies. Not a bad day, all in all.

* I went on the last one of these “connecting to nature” field trips, and discovered many, many synonyms for “connecting to nature” of which I’d been previously, blissfully unaware. Turns out that “connecting to nature” can mean “climbing up a nearly vertical hill, which kids are good at but middle-aged slothful desk monkeys are not,” or “connecting to nature” can mean “watching a kid EAT A LEECH ON PURPOSE because he wants to demonstrate that it’s edible.” I’m not saying I don’t enjoy these trips, I’m just saying… they’re true adventures. Yes.


  1. Headless Mom

    “welcome to Advent, the season of Holy Crap Is It Dinnertime Already? And also The Fridge Is Empty”

    I did not know that this had a name. Now I’ll go out to dinner more often: Now without the guilt! Because Mir said it was true! It has a name and everything!

  2. Kelly

    So glad I’m not the only one with…“welcome to Advent, the season of Holy Crap Is It Dinnertime Already? And also The Fridge Is Empty”

    Today I’m ahead of game – food in crockpot. That’s rare this month though.

  3. Rasselas

    One of the most infuriating things about dating an Aspie was exactly this. Yes, I find it fascinating that you can talk for hours on the intricacies of some political or diplomatic detail during WWII. No, I’m not particularly interested in listening to it right now. And he would not get ANY clue that maybe I wanted to do something else. Not even if I sat right in front of him, GLARING.

    The sad thing is that I thought he was just being a jerk. :( Because he would not stop doing this even after we talked about it. *sigh* Monkey is lucky to have a mom like you.

  4. RuthWells

    I bought store-made lasagna for the kids’ dinner last night. It’s definitely trending.

  5. Leanner

    Wow, we ordered pizza for delivery and totally forgot to celebrate ” welcome to Advent, the season of Holy Crap Is It Dinnertime Already? And also The Fridge is Empty.” Although minus the Advent part, the rest seems to be a regular occasion around here.

    I had just endured a half day of my 5 yo rambling incessantly about either his “Mario” or Wii accomplishments. And it was only half the day because he’s in school til noon! I have to tell him it’s quiet time so I can attempt to think. It usually lasts about 30 seconds but I’ll take what I can get.

  6. Megan


    Leech eating?

    You made that one up.

    Tell me you made it up?


  7. elz

    The Season of Advent, also known as the Season of Sandwiches and Breakfast for dinner! Because, we have those things!

    Love your conversations with sweet Monkey boy.

  8. Tenessa

    Last night my husband asked me if I thought Chi (my aspie) would ever change. I turn and observe the following:

    Chi is “walking” on the balls of his feet squatted down so that his butt is mere inches from the floor and his miles of leg are folded up so that his knees are pressed into his chest. He has a long sleeve shirt on and has pulled his hands up into the sleeve and spread them out to make a kind of oval shape in the fabric. This he has pressed into the floor in front of him as he zooms around as fast as he can making but one of his deep and vast repertoire of noises. He notices me watching him and says, “I’m a level 2 vacuum cleaner.”

    My husband, peering over my shoulder, says, “You might need upgrades.”

    I looked back at my husband, amused, and say, “No. No, I don’t think he’ll ever change.”

  9. Jen

    I’m thinking the “Talking about things you don’t care about and very obviously don’t want to talk about,” isn’t just an Aspie thing. Both of my neurotypical adolescent boys do this regularly. In fact, Minecraft is a favorite topic of these one-sided conversations, as are Magic:the gathering, and youtube videos. My attempted use of logic works about as well as yours did. Makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

  10. Lisse

    “You SHOULD,” Oh, but that one had me laughing, cause what my sons find funny and I don’t could be measured in, well, bathrooms.

  11. Sherry

    My 11 year old son has found the goodness (?) that is youtube. Last night I was forced asked nicely to watch not one, but two videos of theme music from various Pokemon episodes. And lucky for me(!), he found a website to download the sheet music to one of them so then I had to go listen to him play it on the piano. I would say that I could never, ever hear about Pokemon, Beyblades or Bakugan and be perfectly happy, but I will tolerate them for muh bay-bee. I should start making him listen to the plots of the books I read or how well I bowled, FRAME BY FRAME.

  12. Damsel

    My neurotypical 7 year old rambles for hours about all sorts of things like that – detailed explanations of various things that he finds fascinating and about which I absolutely could. not. care. less. When he takes a breath and I interject that I need him to do something (put on his jacket, clear his place at the table or JUST FREAKING SHUT UP ALREADY), it’s as if I don’t even exist… he has absolutely no idea that I’ve even said anything. But if I drift off and go to my happy place so that I don’t have to listen to one more word from his sweet little face, WOE TO ME.

    I just pray that maybe he’ll use this particular talent to be some sort of highly-paid professional so that he can pay for a good home for me when I’ve gone FREAKING INSANE…

  13. Julie

    Thank you all for letting me know I am not alone in this. My 8 year is constantly talking about trains, what he found in his train book, what he found on you-tube. I know he is only young once and I should embrace this, but I can’t help but roll my eyes and tune him out.

  14. BethRD

    I feel like I cooked enough food during Thanksgiving for it to count as my contribution until after New Year’s. Until then we’re having pizza.

  15. Katherine

    I’m with Jen@9 – at least some of the recounting play by play that which is interesting to them but not you is the age. I have a NT 12 yo boy who insists on telling me all about what he is doing in minecraft. Or exactly what happened in robotics practice. or whatever. Intensely interesting to him, not so much to me. I imagine it is intensified in an aspie, but the basic tendency is there already.

    Above, I was going to say I have a normal boy, but no, no one in our family is normal. We’re all weird. when the kids complain about something, I tell them that yes, they are weird and so are we, so get used to it!

  16. Navhelowife

    Your description of Advent? PERFECT.
    Mind numbing discussions of minecraft, Halo, you tube and lawd knows what else around here? Daily. Times three. And they too, don’t see why I fail to find the humor.

  17. Edd Fear

    Wow, I think our kids should go to Monkey’s school. The eldest used to eat snails (in the backyard, not cooked in butter) and both boys talk about how they dare each other to eat bugs. And leaves. And dirt.

    Too long a commute to get them to a school in your state, though.

    (ps I’m “Leanner”‘s husband (post 5), and get the same non-stop yammering, but only for 30 minutes in the morning and two to three hours after work. Don’t know how she survives…or you either, for that matter, Mir!)

  18. Stimey

    Sounds pretty fun. I have those same conversations about the shows my kids like. I’m all, “But I don’t get the Bakugan TV show and I don’t really want to,” and they’re all “Just watch this part. Don’t look away! MOOOOMMMM!”

  19. Anna

    Good grief. Yes, all kids (girls, too!) are like this at a certain age, but many grow out of it, AND! if you thought it was bad with your NT kid, it’s multiplied in an ASD kid.

  20. Sherri

    All I can say is, I have been there, done that regarding my son wanting to recap verbatum every singe line and episode for some silly TV series obvisously targeted at young boys love of farts and bathroom humor. And no matter what I say or how many times I say it, the child does not understand why I don’t want to hear about the show. And the “lather, rinse, repeat” wheel of yelling/whining is a constant here too but now I will envision the beautiful Breck shampoo model from those 80’s commercials as I encounter another circle conversation and maybe that will put a smile on my face as I try to remain to calm.

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