He was perfectly fine in the waiting area with all of the toys, but when it came time for the check up, he was having none of it. We could hardly weigh and measure him; he didn’t want the doctor near him. He was completely non-compliant and wouldn’t talk to the doctor, wouldn’t look at the doctor, would not willingly allow himself to be inspected by her. So much so that she starts questioning me about autism signs and telling me to put him in early intervention for his social skills.
Last I checked, autism isn’t a switch that turns on or off inside a kids brain in between the waiting room and the exam room. In the doctor’s defense, she didn’t believe a word we said when describing how he typically behaves, because, she “hasn’t heard him say a word.” (Really lady?)
Personally, I do not find it to be the least bit concerning that Jack is wary of strangers. Perhaps if the doctor had greeted the patient in the waiting room where he was playing innocently and congenial having not yet detected the purpose of his visit, she would have seen that he does in fact, speak.
It’s not that I do not realize that Jack struggles with strangers and social interactions. It’s just that I do not fault him for it; it has yet to be a hindrance to his healthy growth and development. Furthermore, we do not plan on pre-schooling Jack outside of the home at all and were considering online options for k-12. And if you are wondering if I am aware of the autism signs, or realize that he is at risk, I am. I do get defensive though, when a stranger attempts to label my child so easily after a 10 minute interaction with him. He has to warm up to you, once he does, he’s very sociable. Also its worth mentioning that when the doctor attempted to exam his “boy parts” he swatted her hand away, which made me quite proud actually.
I am willing to admit that it would be nice if Jack had playdates, but I have no real mom friends near me. Mommy groups want you to join a pay a fee or some bullshit like that, and Jack couldn’t care less about the kids on the playground or at the Library. (And the last time we went to the park within walking distance from us I witnessed a man sexually assaulting himself on a park bench.)
So what’s a mom to do? I feel like another mom in my position would have another baby, give Jack a sibling to play with, draw him out of his shell that way. But I am scared to write another check my body can’t cash, and we’ve been so blessed with Jack, what if lightning won’t strike twice. Plus I like the idea of just having Jack, just spoiling Jack. All I ever wanted to be was an only child, so I’m not open at the thought of another child unless Jack asks.
I welcome any (constructive) (helpful) input in the comments below.
As is sit here on the couch with my three-year-old boy, watching Disneys Cars for the 900th time, I am reminded that there is an entire Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure park. You might be thinking “so what I’ve been there” but let me remind you that Disney is a privilege, not a right. Such a luxury has yet to be afforded by me or gifted to me.
I am a married mother of one going on 29 years of age and a California resident for a decade now, yet I have never been to Disney. I can recall countless childhood friends, and classmates being whisked away on magical Disney vacations, returning from break with autograph books filled up, as well as other treasures.
As an adult, social media still bombards me with images of happy friends and acquaintances flocking to Disney to wrap their arms around their favorite characters. So I scroll on in jealousy while a familiar voice inside my brain proclaims with complete certainty “someday.”
Someday Jeremy, Jack and I will make an epic pilgrimage to Disney, and it will be glorious. Hopefully, by the time we get there, Jack will still care about Cars Land. Until then, I will continue to scroll on in jealousy as you all make your annual treks to the happiest place on earth this summer. But while you are there try to remember the envious children (and adults) who have never had the pleasure. Teach your children to be grateful for the experience, and gracious when sharing the experience with others.