Susan's Blog

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mom Gets Sneaky

I am having great day, I went to Dunkin Doughnuts.
I bought a blue berry muffin I took my boots off and
my sneakers on thanks for sending my sneakers.
see you when I get home

Sounds like a friendly email, right? Well, I don’t know. If you knew what I know, you would read sinister undertones into it.

Sometime this past weekend, Nat came to realize that his old sneakers had been removed from the shoe basket and thrown away. (Ned did it, and then went away for the weekend, thanks alot, Ned!! Also, some similar sneakers that Nat never wanted to wear, were discarded in a typical Ned purge, comparable to the zeal of a Stalinist purge, minus the bloodshed. Every once in a while, the purge neuron fires off in Ned’s complicated brain, and suddenly I’ll find some tiny corner of our otherwise messy house cleaned to within an inch of its life, like my copper pots will suddenly be orange with an unfamiliar shine, or my corner of the desk will be in files and folders.)

So Nat was upset not to see the familiar pile of shoes in the shoe basket. He kept saying, “New sneakers.” And I kept saying, “Nat! These are your new sneakers. Those other ones were your old ones, so we threw them away!”

Oh, how could we have been so stupid? So now every morning there is a struggle. Nat will only wear his boots to school. He refuses to wear his sneakers, even though he wore them for the last month! Somehow, throwing away the other ones rendered these No Good.

So I got sneaky. I hid his sneakers in his backpack this morning and wrote a note to his teachers: “Help! Nat refuses to wear his sneakers!”

And when I got that email from Nat, where he thanks me for sending in the sneakers, to me it sounded kind of sinister, like, “How very clever of you, Mother! You may have outwitted me this time…”

And of course, “See you when I get home,” felt less than benign…


One of these days those boots are gonna walk all over you 🙂

— added by Someone Said on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Oh, Guy Rude, I should have asked you for help when I was trying to come up with the pun for the title of the post. You are so right!

(Nat is home now and he is not amused by my blog post…)

— added by Susan Senator on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Only the parent of an autistic kid could relate to the “sinister” qualities of “see you when I get home.” I know it’s serious, but that cracked me up, it’s so perfect. My son and I were just discussing black humor this afternoon. It can help you get by. Benign indeed!

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 6:13 pm

You’re welcome! –Stalin.

— added by Ned Batchelder on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Made me laugh, although I do realize just how serious this is!

Also made me wonder if Nat is really writing his emails so autonomously as you think, or if a perky classroom aide who doesn’t understand all the deep resonances of the shoe saga, but just noticed you’d sent in the sneakers, was “helping” him?

— added by Nancy Bea Miller on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 10:22 pm

NancyBea – I’m sure that you are somewhat right here! The teachers have told me how they help Nat generate an email. They ask him questions to get him started. He types his answers, and they correct any egregious errors. I think that perhaps the perky young teacher had a sense of humor, and understood that the sneakers would be a subject rich in layers for Nat (and me)…

— added by Susan Senator on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 10:32 pm