September 4, 2010

Gullible Much?

The night I wrote my last post, about how my Kindergartener didn't know where the bathrooms were at school but his good friend Invisible Man did and just wasn't telling, I did what any good mother would do. I fired an email off to the teacher and said, "Hey, somewhere along the line, my little guy missed the whole bathroom talk. Can you give him a refresh?"

That proved to be unnecessary.

The next morning, over breakfast, I tried to coach the redhead to ask his teacher to show him the bathrooms. Then my amazing au pair chimed in, reminding him that he'd been to the bathrooms in school with her, many many times ... and that's when I caught it. The little glimmer in his baby blues, the nearly smirk that flashed across his face ...

He was joking.

The teacher confirmed it later that day. She asked him where the bathroom was, and he pointed right to it. My kid knows exactly where to go. The whole thing was an elaborate hoax designed to pull the wool over his mother's eyes.

He got me. Yes, he got me, and it cracked him up.

I'm gullible. I admit it. But this, I think, is more than that. This is a bone-deep gullibility born of nearly 12 years parenting an Aspie. I mean, I can tell when my kids are lying. Every mom has a built-in radar for truth. I know when they haven't brushed their teeth or washed their hands, when they skipped out early on the homework or watched a show I don't allow. That's easy.

This is different. This is humor. It's not really lying - it's fibbing, with purpose.

And that, it seems, flies right over my head.

My oldest can't tell jokes. He doesn't get them. Too much nuance and non-verbal involved in the whole joke thing. He's smart as hell, has a laugh that lights up a room and appreciates a good pratfall when he sees one. But he's got a literal brain. He hears what he hears one way, straight up. Puns and pranks and verbal sleight of hand are just not in his vocabulary.

Which means they're not in mine. At least, not in my parenting vocabulary.

Then along comes my five year old. He's been making jokes since before he could talk. He's the kid who, when he was learning to walk, would weave like a drunkard through the living room going, "Whoooooaaaa! Whoooooaaaaa!" and then fall down - on purpose - because it would get a laugh from every adult in the room.

He knew exactly what he was doing. Because my redhead not only has a sense of humor, but it's wicked and it's clever and he makes regular use of it.

I have no earthly idea what to do with that. Except be proud of him. The kid's got mad skills. And wait for the next time. Because he's going to get me again.


  1. Your family sounds awesome. I can't wait to read more. Thank you for visiting my blog yesterday and don't blog so quietly!! You have a gift for storytelling, and I'm looking forward to more.

  2. Oh, thanks, Alysia! I'm enjoying your blog, too - diving in to some of the older posts. I'm starting to make a little more noise and very much appreciate the encouragement!