Real names for real stuff.

The over share. That moment when your child ups the ante, tilts your world, and calls you out. When all the self-esteem boosting, the positive parenting, the talks about “using your words” and “speaking up” comes around to bite you in the ass. Or, in this case, my uterus.

It was an average Wednesday in our house. Appointments in-home for Owen and discussion around how to better assist him and help him transition at school between activities. He’s adapting well to preschool but not without the common and uncommon challenges of navigating school for a child with autism. I spoke to his Occupational Therapist, Educational Specialist, and respite care worker about the issues I thought we should prioritize. I looked over at Nora and silently thanked my stars that she was adept at entertaining herself.

Our conversation continued, we debated, tested out some activities with Owen, discussed strategies, and then started to wrap things up. Nora helped the therapist show Owen how to do some of the exercises and then asked if she could finish her drawing. She said she wanted to show them before they left.

Little do you know the influence of your words, or the interpretation of them your child will make, in the seemingly mundane interactions of an average day. Yet in our household every little detail is up for discussion and privacy is scant. Coupled with a belief that anatomical parts are not to be given nicknames this can lead to some humbling moments brought to us by our amateur scientists.

Questions like:
“Mama, why do you have a pimple?”
“Papa, where does your hair go?”
“Mama, why do your faces crinkle up when you smile?”
“Does his breath always stink?”
“Does she like donkeys? Cause she sounds like one.”

Our guests started to pack their things and I asked the kids to come say their goodbyes. Just then Nora approached me with her drawing and asked me to lean down so she could tell me something in a stage whisper.

“Mama, I made this drawing of your pee from this morning – oh, sorry, “urine”. It has the blood and everything.”

I glanced down at the proffered drawing and folded it into my back pocket, took in the embarrassed looks of silent amusement around me, and asked her to say goodbye.

You see Nora burst into the bathroom that morning while I was urinating and changing my pad. Many questions later, she was satisfied with my explanations. At least that’s what I believed. Unbeknownst to me she was inspired to depict the scene in an artistic study to properly render the nuances of my urine. Oh the joys of neurodiversity and parenting.

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