Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm Thankful for...Small Miracles

Ethan and I had breakfast with a friend of mine yesterday. I haven't seen Meghan in a little over a month, so it was nice to catch up. She's a single mom with two kids--one of which is an uber-intelligent, precocious (read obnoxious) little girl about Ethan's age. Unfortunately, her kids were in school, so Ethan was forced to entertain himself while the adults gossiped about a certain other friend's foray into lunacy.

The topic switched gears when I told her that Ethan was being evaluated by the school district for his "behavioral abnormalities".

She, being the good friend that she is, was adequately aghast. "What behavioral abnormalities?" she asked with just the right hint of outrage. "He seems normal to me."

"I know," I replied. "But his teachers say he doesn't interact with the other kids, and when they try to do group activities, he just spaces out and doesn't listen."

"He's four!" Meghan reminds me.

"I know, I know. But they say it's unusual. Whenever I talk to his teachers, they always tell me how bright he is."

Meghan says nothing. She tries to suppress a giggle.

Wait. That's not the appropriate response. Let me try that again.

"They tell me he's really intelligent."

Meghan laughs. Right out loud.

My mom gloves are on the verge of coming off.

Does she think he's not smart? Why? Just because she's got some freakishly brainy five-year-old who will probably mastermind a plot to take over the world before she’s out of grade school?

(I wouldn’t put it past her, either. That kid is pint-sized evil.)

"Well, I know he's not the same kind of smart as Madeline, but..."

Tears are rolling down her cheek at this point.

Am I missing something?

I look over to where my precious, intelligent little man...

Is licking the plate-glass window.

"Ethan! Stop that! That's gross. It's dirty."

Come on. Work with me here. I'm trying to sell you as a normal kid! It's not gonna work if you're giving the windows at Shari's a tongue bath.

He turns to look at me, eyes wide and guileless.

"But, Mom," he says, "it tastes like Christmas."

Oh, did I mention his evaluation is today? Yeah. Wish us luck. We could use a tasty miracle about now.


Sugarplum's Mom said...

oh my.. that's priceless. Good luck with the evaluation!

M@ said...


Reminds of a line from that steve martin film... what was it called? parents?

i forget.

"He likes to butt his head against things."

"you must be so proud."

loveyh said...


I am so making cookies for youse guys tomorrow.

Mike said...

You want a tasty miracle? Whose definition of tasty? Ethan's?

Rima said...

It could have been a flagpole.

Besides, who wouldn't want to lick a little Christmas? said...

Should anyone else be worried that Christmas tastes like Windex at the Avery Gray house? ;)

WorksForMom said...

I'm with Rima, thank God it wasn't a flagpole! Oh what a little genius - THAT was funny.

Lis Garrett ~ a writer's woolgatherings said...

I'm sure I've told you this before, but Ethan sounds SO much like my Jacob (age 6). We've been through the evaluations, and are STILL going through the evaluations. Jacob tests above average on intelligence but is almost anti-social at school, a far cry from how he is at home, I assure you. I've heard everything from ADD to Asperger's to Autism. You know what? I'm beginning to think he's just "normal," despite his quirks. Good luck with everything. Ethan sounds like a perfect little dude to me.

Avery Gray said...

Sugarplum--thanks! I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

M@--that's my boy! He used to do that, too. And I was proud. Not that I knew any better. I was proud every time he pooped, too.

Lovey--mmmm... Cookies...

Mike--well, I think we've established Ethan has no sense of taste, so let's leave it up to God to decide. He's got a wicked sense of humor, you know.

Rima--I don't know. I sure like to lick a little Christmas now and again. Better than flagpoles. They taste like St. Patty's Day. Ew!!!

Casual--it'll fix what ails ya and put hair on your chest. That's a good thing, right?

Works--I'm really hoping it means he's a genius, but that jury's still a long way out.

Avery Gray said...

Lis--I am more convinced than ever that Ethan is not autistic, despite all the opinions we've heard to the contrary. His pediatrician, his school director, even our neighbor across the street who works with autistic kids have told me he is absolutely NOT autistic. Which is wonderful, except that we still have these behavioral quirks that need to be addressed. I happen to think the "problem" might just be that he has a different sort of personality. Hey, I know I do. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he takes after me. I did have something of a hand in creating and rearing him, after all. ;o)

Thanks so much for your support! I hope you're doing well. Jacob sounds like my kinda kid!

Dapoppins said...

You are not suppose to have other friends. I thought I told you this.

Amy Turn Sharp said...

Hey woman
everything is gonna be fine
he sounds delightful
hugs to you

terri said...

From one who has been there, you have my prayers. For all my son's struggles thru all his years in school, he was diagnosed w/ ADD and we have had to fight for any support from the schools. I find it ironic that they are quick to point out when THEY think there's a problem, yet refuse to acknowledge when the PARENTS feel there's a problem. Good luck to you!

R said...

I don't think Ethan sounds autistic. I think he is a flipping genius. But you have heard me say that before. "Tastes like Christmas?" He is so far above us we can't understand him.

Emma Sometimes said...

Next time I am at Shari's I'm gonna 'check' the window. I like Christmas.

By the way, I've said it a billion times...okay, maybe four or five. I'm sure he's just a budding Einstein. When is my youngest going to meet him?

Kimberly said...

Hey, I still do that and I'm...umm...right, divulged too much there. Hope it went well!

Avery Gray said...

Dapo--oops! I'll cut her out of my life immediately. Sorry.

Amy--thanks, sweetie!

Terri--thanks so much! I'm nervous about finding out what they observed today, but I'm glad we're getting this out of the way now, and not after he's started kindergarten or first grade. I think it would be a harder adjustment for him then. I'm sure you know what I mean.

R--you're a rock star! A sexy rock star who's always right.

Emma--when am I gonna start listening to you? You're absolutely right--he's Einsteinian! (And whenever you want to subject your littlest one to my brainiac boy, just let me know!)

Kimberly--you give me hope! ;o)

Radioactive Jam said...

What a perfect answer. Way better (and a lot less gross) than "the dog did it first."

You have an awesome kid. But you know this I am sure.

Avery Gray said...

RaJ--I do know that, but it's good to hear it sometimes, too! ;o)

R said...

The cascades of hair coming from Emma! This is true angel hair and totally not fair. Why do I have such lank tresses in comparison. She needs to do commercials. It looks so beautiful and free there should be a movie strictly about her hair. It should be in the world records. It is beyond beautiful. It is to be envied. It is righteously gorgeous. I will not say that it is God, but it is kind of close. Angelic. Yes, angelic.

Did you see this fabulous cascading hair in the picture, Avery? How is this right? Can you vouch that it is indeed human hair? Not hair straight from the never-ending pleasure bowl of the gods? What gives?

holly said...

you've got a window licker. it's totally fine. i've got one harvard bound, one window licker. it's balance.


suchsimplepleasures said...

well, just pour purell on his tongue and go to the evaluation. take my son, too. he lets our neighbors dog lick his i'm feeling ya!
4 year olds are a strange breed. i have one. i had a few more but...they're over that hump. well, i wish you luck. thoughts are with you.

Two Write Hands said...

Can't. Stop. Giggling. How adorable is that kiddo of yours?

And "it tastes like Christmas" is one of those gut-wrenchingly innocent things only a child could say.

Love your blog.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Okay, now, here's the thing. He's brilliant, in a way that the evaluators are too stupid to understand. Look at that imagination. I say to heck with what the evaluators say -- he's going to end up winning the Nobel Prize someday.

Tristi Pinkston said...

By the way, you've got some seriously sweet widgets in your sidebar. I'm Her Most Serene Highness Lady Tristi the Fortunate of Withering Glance, by the way.

newnorth said...

hahaha, that was great! he's genius!

cate said...

oh, that's too funny!

i hope the evaluation went well, and they've come to realize that he's just an amazing, smart and unique little boy...

meleah rebeccah said...

Awww.... That is one of the sweetest "kid" stories I ever heard.

but really, he is only 4!

Lilacspecs said...

Aww, I know plenty of bright kids that still eat boogers and poop in their pants. You're guy will be just fine.

Avery Gray said...

R--I can indeed vouch that it is human hair. Luxurious human hair. I hate her!

Holly--today window licking, tomorrow the White House. Seems plausible.

Simple--mmmm... Purell... Thanks for the support! ;o)

Two Write--thanks so much! Glad you came.

Tristi--wonder if there's a Nobel Prize for window licking. Or widgets. ;o) Thanks for the well-wishes!

Newnorth--here's hoping!

Cate--I'm supposed to hear how it went tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Meleah--yep, only 4. Well, 5 in January. And he is pretty sweet.

Lilac--please tell me they're about Ethan's age and not, like, high schoolers or something. ;o) Hope you're doing well!

Gwynne said...

That was hilarious! If it's Christmas he's after, consider feeding him Christmas lightbulbs. My brother ate these when he was about 4. I think he expected them to taste like candy, not Christmas exactly. Nevertheless, point being, he is a genius. I'll bet Einstein liked the taste of Christmas too. ;-)

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh I hope it went well sweetie. And what an imagination that kid has. Hilarious. Reminds me, I must clean my windows.