Thursday, February 16, 2012

There's a teenager under all that autism

Sam opens the refrigerator and pulls out a half-gallon of juice, plopping it dramatically onto the counter. He waits patiently, craning his neck for my attention. 

He brings the bottle ever so slowly towards his mouth, smirking as he continues to wait for a reaction. Seeing none, he ups the ante by making loud noises and drinks from the bottle. A game of wills, he trumps by grossing me out.

“Get a cup.” I finally say in a monotone voice. Sam laughs in delight. He grabs a cup, plunks it down and abandons it. Again he slowly raises the bottle back to his mouth, now barely containing his laughter.

“GET A CUP.” I say more firmly.

He grabs the cup, pours juice into it and leaves it, taking another quick swig from the bottle. He spits some of the juice out as he sputters in laughter.

“GET-A-CUP.”  I say more emphatically as I start to rise. Satisfied, he dances around the kitchen with the bottle.


Just as I reach him, Sam swings the bottle high out of reach, over his head. Around and around he dances while mocking in a high-pitched, singsong falsetto: “Get a cu-up, get a cu-up, get a cup-up.” Turning his lower lip downward, he pauses dramatically adding, “Mommy is sad. So sad.” He wrings his hands by his eyes and punctuates, “Waa, waa, waa.”

I sigh. I shake my head. 

Mission accomplished, he glows triumphant, hands me the bottle and leaves. I hear “waa, waa, waa” in between his laughter as he pounds up the stairs.

With Sam safely out of sight, I smile. I restore order and briefly wonder what heights he might achieve if I could only redirect that teenage attitude.

President, I think.

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