Okay, that’s out of the way. Let’s talk about the little beast.
Kiddo is an eight-year-old destruction machine. He breaks everything, and most of the time it’s on purpose. He screams in defiance of almost everything I request of him. He screams even louder when I TELL him to do something. It’s no surprise, really. His social age is about three years old. Thanks, autism.
And yet, this is the same child that teachers give me glowing reports on. “He’s so smart! He’s so well behaved! He’s so quiet! He has such good manners!”
Wait. We are talking about my son, right? The spindly-legged wrecking ball? The live-action human version of Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil? Hurricane J?
Apparently so. My son is the elementary version of David Banner, all meek and mild and studious. Then he comes home and turns into the Hulk, a being of pure fury and destruction.
“Watcha gonna do, Mother?”
Wait, wrong Hulk. My bad.
I would love to meet School Kiddo. I want to know this child who doesn’t believe sharing leads to the end of days, that bathwater is not the same as acid, that homework is not to be greeted like a horde of brain-eating zombies. I want to catch a glimpse of this fabled creature of good hygiene and quiet voice. I’ve even heard wild tales of the word ‘please’ passing through his lips.
Instead, I get Home Kiddo. The one that can relax and be as crazed as he wants and know he’s still loved beyond all sense. The price of loving unconditionally sometimes means extreme conditions will be introduced. So my appliances are dented, my patience is stretched, and I’m counting down the seconds until bedtime once more. But I love that kid, and I have hopes that one day I’ll meet the twin that was apparently kidnapped at birth.