Barrett Tales – October 2014


It’s been a while since I shared a Bear Bear story, and I have a couple cute ones. Although Barrett is technically verbal, how and when he chooses to speak is always a mystery.  We don’t let his silence fool us – he understands what we say and he’s taking it all in.  Oh what I wouldn’t give to be inside his head for a day!

Discriminating Tastes

A few weeks ago Barrett said to his teacher Bobbi Jo, “I want water.” She got a cup and filled it with water from the sink (there’s a kitchen in his classroom).  He took a sip, but apparently didn’t like it, because he walked over to the sink and dumped it out.

Bobbi Jo said to him, “But I thought you were thirsty.   What do you want?”

Bear answered, “Water.” 

Bobbi Jo assumed that he didn’t like the tap water, so she took him out into the hallway. She handed him the cup, pointed to the water fountain and said, “Get some water from the fountain.”

Barrett said, “No.” Saying “No” is huge, because his default answer to most questions is, “Yes.”

He then turned away from her, with cup in hand, and walked down the hallway. Obviously Bobbi Jo was curious, so she discreetly followed him.  Bear never turned around to see if she was watching, which is no surprise, because he’s a bit arrogant.  He turned the corner and kept walking.  I’m not sure what Bobbi Jo was thinking at this point, but I personally would have assumed he was planning to make a run for it (once bitten, twice shy).  He made it all the way to the gym, and then stopped at another water fountain to fill his cup.  He greedily drank the water, before heading back to the classroom.

Apparently, Barrett prefers the water in the gym.

Barrett’s Fan Club

Recently, the middle schools in our county screened students for scoliosis. We were informed of the screening with a notice that was sent home in Barrett’s folder.  I laughed when I read it, thinking good luck with that one.

A few weeks later, when I was picking Barrett up early from school (for an appointment), I saw the school nurse. The nurse told me she had a story about him and I immediately braced myself.  Experience has taught me that those words could mean anything.  Just last year, he went nuts by screaming and attempting to escape the clinic when she tried to put a Band Aide on him.

To complete the picture, the secretary, the school police officer and the assistant principal were also in the front office at the time. And everyone was listening.

The nurse told me that she was the one who performed the scoliosis screening for Barrett, although his teacher was also present. As is standard, they asked Barrett to remove his shirt.  Uh-oh.  At this point I got extremely nervous because when he’s not in school, my son’s uniform of choice is his underwear – and only his underwear.  But thankfully, he kept his pants on.  The excitement came when she directed him to bend over, so she could examine his spine.  As Barrett was bent over, he clearly stated to the nurse and his teacher that, “This was ridiculous.”

My jaw fell open. Seriously?  The nurse promised me that’s exactly what he said. Ridiculous.

As I was digesting this, Barrett entered the office with his teacher. All the women who I mentioned above where still present and chimed in with their greetings.  “Hi Barrett!”

He smiled and mumbled a growly, “Hello.” He leaned over and kissed the secretary on the cheek.  Then he turned and kissed the nurse on her cheek.  He completed his kissing tour by planting wet ones on the cheeks of the assistant principal and the school officer.  I watched, mildly amused, as they all smiled and giggled.

Then, that little sh** smirked at his momma and walked right past me – out into the parking lot!

Ouch. I get more than my share of kisses from my boy, but still – dissing me in public like that?  Not cool, Bear Bear.  Not cool.

I have to confess that the situation also made me a little sad, because I couldn’t stop myself from wondering what kind of shameless flirt Barrett would have been had things been different. I feel as though he would have been a Casanova, just like my brother.  And then I realized, regardless of his label, he is just like him.  Autism can’t hold back my Bear Bear’s charms!

And for the record, his uncle would have been proud – of both the kissing and the dissing.

10 thoughts on “Barrett Tales – October 2014”

  1. Aw! I’m proud of the kissing and the dissing too! I love that he said “this is ridiculous.” And hey – the kid knows his water! 😉
    Side note – Tucker spends an incredible amount of time wearing ONLY a shirt. Yup.

    1. I love it – the freedom! Getting B to keep the underwear on took some ABA:). He was notorious for streaking a few years ago – but we rally had to put a stop to it when puberty set in, ha, ha.

  2. AWWWW I can just see Bridget insisting on water from the gym and not the kitchen. How cool is it that using only the word water he managed to convey what he needed. That his aide let him walk to find the oasis was super cool.

    What a sweet heart. I bet he made the ladies day giving them his kisses. I totally get how that also broke your heart because you got a glimpse of the Bear without autism. What a different path he may have gone on. I love that you can take that hit and still realize he is your boy regardless.

    1. Thanks Kerri. You comment choked me up a little. Yes, I love him no matter what. He will always be my boy – and that may not have always been the case if he was the smart-ass teenager I know is lurking inside.

  3. I’m a supertaster and in my experience, some water fountains taste differently from others! I swear!
    I don’t believe autism holds back a charming casanova. When it’s in you, it’s in you, right?

    1. I’ve been told that children with sensory issues often are “supertasters,” so it makes sense. And I do believe the charm is in there, I just don’t think we see it as often as we should/could…

  4. So funny! And timely because I just posted a blog today about trying to get my son to say his first words (ended up being “I want more milk please”).

    The incident in the office is what my husband and I call “glimpses of normalcy”, although I hate the word normal. And depending on the day, I’m either heartbroken or amused.

  5. “This is ridiculous”- NO WAY!! Oh, how I love both of these stories!! Except that one little dissing moment- that I’m sure didn’t feel good. I have SO been there!! It’s embarrassing and humiliating!! But you know why he did that, right?

    Picture yourself at a party and you were the guest of honor. Your mom planned and prepared for it, but all these people were bubbling all about you and over you and giving you oodles of attention that you immediately responded to and hugged and chatted up with everyone at the party, clearly forgetting that it was your mom that really deserved the attention. She just beamed with pride watching you cruise through your dear friends and smile and take in all the love and give it right back to them- never once acknowledging her in fact she was ignored.

    She knows- you know… the love between the two of you? That is a given. That doesn’t need attention right then and there and the party in itself, really isn’t the place for it either. The party was about friends in your world apart from her, she was just there to observe and offer you the opportunity. The love for mom? That is a natural- and you would be totally embarrassed to show her love in front of everyone! That is just assumed.

    Your boy is in his own ‘school world’ and I believe he detaches on purpose- because he is well aware of his mama and mama-love right there, but probably feels this territorial sixth sense of protecting and embracing the relationships/people in his world apart from yours.

    It’s his party- you just provided the opportunity.

    So he dismisses you/ tries to almost ignore you while he’s doing ‘his thing’- growing into his own independent means of communicating and interacting with others without his mama’s help.

    I think that is HUGE. Perhaps it’s really not a diss at all… it’s an incredibly BIG step in growth both socially and developmentally! My son is already not wanting me to hug him in school and he’s 8. It’s the natural process.

    Our boys really need to create their own identity and role outside of their moms. Lets celebrate that together mama!!

    1. Chris -I love your analogy! I agree, this was huge. I wish you could have seen the smirk he gave me as he walked on by. He was “dissing” me on purpose – as a total tease. That’s what made me proud.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *