Leo the Imp

Yeah, that BlogHer '11 post is coming. I've been sick with a swallowed-broken-glass sore throat and undulating fever, plus busy writing posts for BlogHer on the increased autism rates for infant siblings (Mali was a participant in the cited study, and if you forgot what a cute baby she was this post is worth it for the picture alone), on the guilt of vacationing in the San Juans without Leo even though our boy was having the time of his life at camp, plus transcribing  Ari Ne'eman's thought-provoking keynote from Syracuse's Neurodiversity symposium, for TPGA.

Also my dear brother called and asked whether I couldn't please tone this site's profanity down, as Leo's cousin Patrick enjoys reading about his cousins but his dad does not enjoy explaining why it is okay for Auntie S to curse like a longshoreman but not his son. Apologies, brother, It'll have to wait until tomorrow. Because I want to talk about some excellent things Leo did, and expletives are involved:
  • Leo loves donuts as much as his mother does, possibly more. And sometimes he perseverates on not being allowed to acquire them. Which is understandable. And sometimes I am an imperfect mother and I lose patience. Which is why, instead of telling himself repeatedly, "We're not going to get a donut today," he recently spent a day reassuring himself, "We're not going to get a fucking donut today." #badmom
  • His newest stim is crumpling paper with his hands or feet; he loves the way it feels and sounds. We have an excess of paper in this house, so he is all set. We have to watch out, though; last week while we were running non-donut errands, I asked him to show me what he was playing with -- and it turned out to be the check I'd left on the counter for Tricia, the woman who cleans our house. Whoops.
  • When we all went to Iz's school to check the eighth (8th!) grade class lists, we ran into a friend of Iz's that we don't see all that often. But Leelo went right up to her, pushed her shoulder, and said, "No pushing Nelly!" (Motivation? I suspect due to her being a cute girl.) Nelly laughed it off because she knows Leo, but I was extremely pleased after the apologies were handed out -- Leo recognized her! He has a really hard time distinguishing between acquaintances' faces! Go Leo!
  • Leo got dragged to Mali's school reg day for second (2nd!) grade because the sitter I'd scheduled was sick. Our boy was a good sport at first, but soon became vocally displeased. (I really should have asked to cut the long line, but I am a pussy who deals badly with confrontation.) We stuck it out, and he did really well, and I thanked him for being so patient. When we finally got to the front of the line, the woman who was checking our forms looked at Leo and looked at me, and said with a smile, "He's doing great!" No "Oh, poor guy," not even a "this must be so hard for him" (which would be true but I'm not a fan of pity). Nope. Just a friendly acknowledgment that he was there, and that he was trying. It was perfect.
Leo starts fifth (5th!) grade today, his sisters started school two days ago. He's had a summer good run, what with surfing and camping and hiking and ziplining and swimming in the pool and hanging out at the beach. But I think he'll also be happy to get back to his wonderful school routine, at his wonderful wonderful school.


  1. I will explain to Patrick for you.

    Auntie S. gets to swear because she's a grownup.

    Kids *can* swear but not in front of strange adults, in school, or in front of any other grownups who might be upset; also not in school, and it is best to stick to swearing as expletive rather than as direct insult.

    The end!

  2. That's pretty impressive for someone who's typing with only one hand! And yeah, that's what we tell our kids too. I told him I'd send him our Flickr sets, which I do my best to caption, and which are generally more PG-rated on the profanity scale.

  3. "We're not going to get a fucking donut today." <—This.

    I love everything about this post. I tell my kids that you can curse in places where it doesn't make people feel bad or when it is not mannerly, but kids can't figure that out yet, so you have to be a grownup to curse. So far it's working. *knockonwood*

  4. If it stops working, do share! #nosy

  5. Leo zip lined?

    I need to see photos of this. And it's okay if they're blurry.

    Feel better. Now.

  6. We've got more than pix, we've got video! http://www.squidalicious.com/2011/06/luckiest-zip-lining-surfing-boogie.html

  7. Shannon - would something like "oh gosh, you *really* want a donut! I can see that! If you could have as many donuts as you wanted, how many would you get right now?" keep him busy for a while?

  8. oh, and very befitting your blog post is today's "Nemi" in the Metro (the local freebie newspaper)


  9. Boo told his Nanna 'about fucking time' when she served him his dinner the other night.

    I couldn't help but laugh seeing it was totally in context.

    Ironically he is constantly in trouble for telling people off and touching them if they swear.

    Our boys are so similar it is becoming weird. x

  10. It sounds like your family had an awesome summer! I hope the school year goes as good!


Respectful disagreement encouraged.