Monday, November 6, 2017

When you can't follow the rules

So there is no need to belabor the point of this story. Sometimes, some of us just can't follow the rules.  We either don't think they apply to us, or we are certain that they shouldn't apply to us, or we just want what we want, regardless of what the rules are.

Here in lies the story of a dwarf that wants to have his ears pierced.  Nope not talking about Grumpy, he made it to 18, and then with much deliberations, a piercing, a removal, and a re piercing and yet another removal and replacement, I think his are in to stay.

This story involves the Bashful. I have not had much to say about Bashful, because frankly, to put words to his behaviors is not comical or even humorous... until last Thursday.

First let me back track a wee bit.  Here in the sunshine state the average temperature during the day is still in the comfortable 80's.  In the early morning hours there have been some dips to the low 60's and early 70's which are now causing my born and raised in the north dwarves to grab hoodies because they are "freezing".

Earlier last week I had a long conversation with Bashful in the car as I was picking him up,  about how when he exits the high school with hundreds of other students, he should make more of an effort to pay attention to those around him, and perhaps take his social cues from the "crowd".  Normally, I am not a propionate of following the crowd as it were, however if you have a dwarf with stilted social skills, perhaps I think that if  they could hone their powers of observation, they could learn something...  Something like at 2PM in 85 degree weather NOBODY is strolling out of the school with their sweatshirts on, much less the hoods up over their heads.   While Bashful attempted to use absolute wording with me and start and argument with me about how EVERYBODY wears their hoods up at his school, I calmly pointed out that there were at least 300 students in the car pool area, and not one other person had their hood up, and as we slow rolled past the bus areas, noted again that there was not another single student with their hood up.  I continued to share with the dwarf in denial, that the hood blocks any and all attempts for someone to talk to you, you miss opportunities to converse with others that you may know, it is in a sense a sign outwardly that you do not want to be bothered, that you are hiding.  Of course I know nothing.  Nothing at all.  Additionally, just like hats, hoods need to be removed inside buildings so I know that a school with a no hat policy also has a no hoodie up policy. 

Oh I am not stupid.  I know that you are not a fan of yourself Bashful, that you are conflicted about who you are, where you fit in and what kind of group you want to make your homies, however the thug life was not intended for you.

Fast forward the the second 85 degree day in Florida on Thursday.  Here we are once again at the school pick up line.  Out strolls (I think, he thinks he is swaggering) Bashful in full on hoodie up mode.  Pulled so forward I might add that in order to find my large RED vehicle he has to move a hand to the side of his face to scan the vehicles in the line.  He spots me, hops in the vehicle and I say "are you cold?"  "No," is his reply," I already told you this week EVERYBODY is wearing their hoods up."  I challenge him to find me just one other person that day with their hood up.  He is unable.  I let the situation go.  Really in my mind I feel like I have made a yeoman's effort to help him understand that he now just looks ridiculous and that people are making fun of him.  If this is the look he's going for, fine it is not a reflection on me.

It happens that we are scheduled to go to a  RAD therapy appointment at 5:30 that afternoon.  So there are several hours at the house where the dwarf can be observed, and he is hard core, not budging on the hoodie removal.  At one point as he is doing a chore I can see that he is literally sweating... in the air conditioned house.  The other dwarves have throw in with snide comments and retorts, usually a great peer pressure source, yet the hood is firmly in place.

We arrive at therapy.  Bashful, knows the rules; and while he usually attends therapy with his father, there is not a hat or a hood worn, the posture on the therapy sofa is appropriate, outward signs of showing respect even if his insides are revolting. This day he choses to divert from all the known and preferred behaviors.  He refuses to remove the hoodie at my request, he refuses to remove the hoodie at the therapist request, and he refuses to sit up straight at our requests as well.  He begins to curse and tell us how he really feels about the rules of society, how he can do whatever he wants, and how all this is just stupid.  Mostly he shares that I am stupid, he should live with his friends because their parents are cool ( well frankly, I was just shocked to hear him say he has friends) and that if it were not for me, basically his life would be his own.   Finally after 15 minutes of this, I ring his father, who calls, and we place the Prince on speaker.  To make his point that he doesn't respond differently to his father than I, Bashful takes a full five minutes and three request to remove the hoodie.  However he only removes it partially and pins the hoodie on his right side to the side of the couch with his head.  Alas, I know what he is thinking... He wins the battle.

Sadly we wasted an hour of everyone's time and energy because Bashful is a hot mess.  It is in the last 5 minutes of the session after he is highly aggravated, that he sits up and the hoodie falls to the top of his shoulders that the therapist, says, "Bashful, is your ear pierced?" 

I am not sure what the dwarf's plan was.  Spend the whole rest of his life until his 18th birthday living in the sunshine state with his hood up... or maybe he figured he would just wear the hood for six weeks non stop until he could take the earring out at home and put it back in at school.  I can't pretend to know the mind of this dwarf at all.  My suggestion would have been all along, wait until  you are 18 to make the decision.

Most upsetting to me is that this happened at school.  In the boys bathroom.  Can I ask where the supervision is?  How do children have enough time to pierce their ears in the rest room and no one misses them.  Hallway and classroom switches are two minutes in duration.  Even if he left with a pass to use the restroom in the middle of class, would someone not have noticed an extended absence where the yellow headed dwarf left, and came back with a throbbing red and inflamed earlobe, casually sporting a new piece of bling?  Sigh, this rant could be an entire post on it's own.

When the therapist discovered the earring, I gathered my things and got up and left the session. I made my way to the car to call the Prince, plotting ways to leave the dwarf where he was to fend for himself  and figure out how to get home, as I raged not so silently about how he was such a jerk.

To Bashful's credit, upon the therapists discovery of the earring (that she knew was against our house rules) he had some sort of realization between whatever her words were, and the time he got in the vehicle (with his hood off).  He was able to state that he pierced his ear because his "friends" were all making fun of him because he did not have it done.  Then one of the "friends' brought a home kit to school, and so to save face Bashful had to go through with the plan of piercing his own ear, because he doesn't have enough confidence to just simply say, no thank you.  By the time the end of the day came, he was torn between doing the right thing, and how we would respond when we saw the earring that he so desperately wanted so that he could fit in.   He was able to under his own thought processes state that probably these were not true friends, and that he should perhaps try to find another group of kids to hang out with.  He invited me to come with him this week to his session so that we could make up for the horrible waste of time last week.  His father will be joining us just to keep an eye on the situation.

I am happy to report that he is back to earring free, and I have not once observed him looking like a thug since Thursday... Baby steps!

You really can't make this stuff up!