Friday, April 4, 2008

The Painful Truth

Yesterday, Dapoppins was nice enough to lend us one of her children for a playdate. She keeps extras for just such an occasion. Ethan was thrilled to have his friend come over to play, which he let me know loudly and repeatedly.

(Apply ice pick directly to the forehead.)

Everything was fine. They played well together, but I could tell Ethan frustrated his buddy at times. Like, from the time that he showed up at our house until the time we dropped him off at his.

It's not unusual for Ethan to have that effect on kids his own age. Especially those who like to follow directions and do things the way they're supposed to be done.

Ethan's thoughts on that? Bo-ring! Let's talk to a pillow. And pretend it's a hamburger. In outer space.

He doesn't make friends easily.

I wish I knew how to help him, but, the way I see it, the aspects of his personality that kids find most off-putting are...well, his entire personality.

He's...chipper. Freakishly chipper. He eats sunshine and poops rainbows. He's in-your-face happy.

(I've always hated people like that.)

He's also completely oblivious to the effect his over-exuberance has on his peers. He thinks everyone esteems made-up songs about banana cameras and pirate toes as highly as he does. Which is why he sings them over and over and over again.

Yes, he's creative. He cracks me up. But that's part of the problem.

When we're at home, he plays to an audience of one. Me. And I think he's hilarious. Most adults do. But kids?

Not so much.

The other day, it was nice outside, and a small group of neighborhood boys were playing out front. Ethan asked them if it would be alright if he joined them.

The oldest (probably a year older than Ethan) said okay.

Ethan's response: "I can play with you? Hooray! Oh, what a beautiful day! I like your pretty shirt."

Inside, I was dying for two reasons.

One, because I wanted to laugh so badly it hurt.

And two, because, in that moment, I got a good glimpse into Ethan's future.

All I can say is, I'm stocking up on Neosporin now, 'cause there's a whole heap of ass-kickin's comin' down the pike.


The Casual Perfectionist said...

Or he could fool you and be the most gothiest goth-kid EVER. Not that there is anything wrong with that. ;)

The Casual Perfectionist said...

I'm kidding! You may want to teach him how to duck and roll now...while he still has lots of time to practice. ;)

Rima said...

Oh, baby. If it's any consolation, I think the V-meister would very much appreciate Ethan's company.

He will be alright in the long run. The presidential ambitions? Not too far off the mark for someone like Ethan.

Edge said...

I pooped a rainbow once. It was after I ate some of that Shrek Sherbet that 3 flavors has when Shrek movies come out.

He'll do fine and grow up and think you need Neosporin. Or he can be a circus freak who poops rainbows.


Groovy Mom said...

I have one of those too, and there have been several heartbreaking moments over the years, like the time he came in crying after being teased by boys in the neighborhood and he kept saying, "What is wrong with me?" I was dying inside. The truth is, there is nothing wrong with him. His heart is so sweet and gentle, he just can't play the nasty games the other boys play, and that is quite alright by me.

The good news is he's found friends over the years that accept him for who he is, quirks and all. So will Ethan.

I did tell my son recently to never EVER EVER go into a bar. Some drunk cowboy or biker will totally kick his ass when he looks at the dude a little too long or something.

loveyh said...

See, I think you're forgetting: your class clown and my class bully love each other. Ethan can be...well, Ethan, brcause if anyone messes with his best friend (Bran's words, not mine), BRAN will open a can of whoop-ass.

But, perhaps a fully-stocked medicine cabinet wouldn't be a bad idea.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Ahhh Hon, Miss E is a little like that at times. She says surreal things which I love,but other kids look at her like, "What?"

Some kids just don't fit into the mould everyone thinks they should. I'm glad Miss E doesn't, but I see heartache ahead too as I was a little like that as a kid.

He's got a wicked cool mum though, so he'll be ok. You? Definitely get the tylenol or whatever it is you have over there. Or is that the one the kids have?

R said...

That is so funny. The songs they make up, eh? This is my daughter's: "Mario for breakfast, Mario for lunch, Mario for dinner, Mario meat!"

She is talking about Mario, the Super one, of course. Ugh.

Mike said...

You guys should move down to San Francisco so that your adorable social outcast can befriend my adorable social outcast. She is also beloved by grown-ups and eyed warily by peers.

Nan said...

Don't worry! My rainbow pooper is ten, and has such self-confidence that although his peers think he is weird they do tolerate him. He is a talented musician, and recently got friendly with another talented musician. This has been great, as they have a common ground. What is Ethan good at? If he can get into a theatre or music class, I bet he will find creative kindred spirits! My zany Chas is ten, now, and will be starting Taekwondo this term. He will probably need it.

Avery Gray said...

Momma--I think I would welcome Ethan becoming a goth punk. At least he'd scare the poo out of the football team then, and maybe be given a wide berth. Instead, I'm seeing male cheerleader. Yikes.

Rima--well, there's that to look forward to. ;o)

Jef--You callin' my kid a circus freak?! Why I oughtta!

Groovy--Ethan is sensitive like that, too. He cries when someone doesn't want to play with him or give him a hug. I can't imagine how it's going to be when he starts school. Almost makes me want to try something totally crazy, like homeschooling. Almost.

Lovey--yeah, but they won't be going to the same school. And if Ethan told the bullies at school that he has a bully friend in another school district, that kinda like saying, "I have a girlfriend in Canada." They won't believe it until they see it. (But I still really hope the two of them are friends when that time comes, and that Brannon is still a bully. That would make things soooo much easier.) ;o)

Jo--you Brits crack me up! Yes, we have Tylenol. But, in this house, our choice of pain reliever is Aleve. On really tough days, it knocks out my worst pain. Nothing is stronger without a prescription. (Although we do also have some Vicodin lying around here. You can believe I'll be saving that, too!)

R--I think she would crack Ethan up! He loves it when other kids sing silly songs. So, when y'all coming out for a visit?

Mike--*OR* you guys could move up to Portland! I think you'd like it here. How do you feel about the Mariners?

Nan--see, this is what I'm hoping for! I hope that Ethan doesn't change, and that the other kids just learn to accept him for who he is. That would be a dream come true! Thanks for the encouragement, Nan!

Groovy Mom said...

My son is seventeen. He went to kindergarten for six months before we pulled him out of school. We've been homeschooling ever since. In kindergarten, the kids weren't the biggest problem, his teacher was. Not a lot of room for different kids in the system, I'm afraid. At least you know it's an option, if you decide it's for the best.

M@ said...


meleah rebeccah said...

He doesn't make friends easily.

my son struggled with making friends FOREVER. It wasnt until this year 6th grade when he was able to really socialize.

holly said...

i'm thinking that getting ethan into a kiddie-marshal-arts class wouldn't be a *horrible* idea....

although that's maybe the worst place of all to tell another guy that their shirt is pretty...
no, the worst place of all is the bar. don't send him to the bar. stop sending ethan to the bar.

The Immoral Matriarch said...

Have you seen Horton Hears a Who? There's a line about popping rainbows or something like that in there.


Joeprah said...

Dude will get throttled for crap like that. Stock up. LOL! He will be fine, he is just a very cute kid and to be praised for being so goofy/cute.

Mya said...

My little Sprog sounds quite similar to Ethan . He's a real ENTHUSIAST with a capital E! If the sun is shining, it's 'A MAGNIFICENT DAY!' if he likes someone's shirt he'll say 'THAT'S A DAMN FINE SHIRT, WHO'S YOUR OUTFITTER?!' get the picture. He's odd. He's weird. He's delightful. Adorable. I wouldn't have him any other way. He loves his music. And he's going to start judo classes soon. Just in case!

Mya x

PS I keep the loo door closed.

Dapoppins said...

What are you saying? My kid had a great time. This may or may not have had somthing to do with the great stuff at your house. I am not ever sure my boy noticed that there were actaul people over there to play with...however, I have another kid here who has volunteered to try and entertain Ethan...and I am sure she won't mind a bit if he tells her that her shirt is pretty, or sings a banana song. However, if she comes home with any new songs, I am going to need to use your Ice pick.

Bee Repartee said...

He'll be a Navy Seal, just watch.

Ophelia Rising said...

Wow, sounds VERY familiar. My five-year-old says things like, "I love my life!" and "This is the greatest day ever!" and "You are always in my heart!"

I do admire him.

sybil law said...

I love Ethan!
And he'll be fine, really. I think he's already a genius!

missburrows said...

I thought he was going to be our future president!

We could use some rainbows right about now.

Caffeine Court said...

My older daughter is alot like Ethan. She is so damn funny-but not everyone "gets" her. She has a close group of friends-who are hilarious and absolutely love her!