I picked up the boys early from their father’s because Tornado S had a doctor’s appointment. I brought worksheets, books, and tablets. But worksheets first. And they groaned.
Then they started acting like brothers, getting on each other’s nerves with sounds, touches, and whatever. In a tiny examination room.
The doctor and I had a long conversation about Tornado S. He just has all these weird little problems that feel like they should add up to something. He hates making eye-contact, but he loves giving hugs. He gets frustrated easily. He can’t tell that his shoes are on the wrong feet; he hates wearing shoes; he’ll kick off his shoes and walk on the back of them. He loses focus easily, but then he’ll really concentrate on math. He chews on his shirt when he’s stress. He’s behind in his fine motor skills. He has brilliant insights. His output is delayed. And a bunch more.
She said as long as he was being helped and making progress, then a diagnosis wasn’t needed, but she did put in a referral for a neuro-psych eval.
After the appointment, we headed to the grocery store to get a few things. The boys messed with each other in the car and in the parking lot and in the store. As I waited at the meat counter, I started looking for things to occupy them.
Tornado S: Why are we here, Mama?
Me: We need to get a pound of salmon.
Tornado S: Oh.
And back he went to antagonizing his brothers, who gave as good as they got.
Me: Tornado E, find me the deli turkey on sale please and bring me some. Tornado S, could you please find out how much blueberries are? Tornado A, hold my hand.
Tornado E and Tornado S ran off to do their errands and ran back.
Tornado S: (beaming) Two for four dollars!
Ok. Then the butcher was ready to help.
Butcher: Where are the boys? Oh, there you are. Little man, what can I get you?
Tornado S: Salmon!
Butcher: All right! I love that. How much?
Tornado S: One pound!
Butcher: Perfect! I’ll get that. Are you learning how to cook? Everyone needs to know how to cook. Good! I knew I would like you guys because you’re Star Wars fans.
Tornado S and Tornado A: ME TOO!
Butcher: I could tell! I saw your shirts! Is that good, ma’am? It’s a little over.
Me: That’s fine. Thank you.
Butcher: Now you boys are going to cook this, right? My son is a little older than you, and he makes the best salsa. You have to start early to cook well. Here, you go, ma’am. Anything else I can get you?
Me: Thank you. No, thank you. Just the salmon. Have a good day.
Butcher: You too, ma’am.
And for ten minutes, the boys were helpful, carrying my groceries to the register, waiting in line, going to the car. And then they started up again. Parenting.