The long pants were worn this morning. After a careful and detailed search of closet, drawers and laundry hamper, J realized he had no other choice…and the trusty, tried-and-true, weatherbeaten green cargo pants were donned. I can tell you, from this very small event, that J has grown significantly since last Spring, and that he has lost weight. Last winter, with his snow boots on, J’s pants would slightly drag under his heels, and there was snugness around the waist. This morning, wearing his sandals (hey, one piece of clothing/footwear at a time, please!,) J’s pants allowed a glimpse of the top of his feet as he walked. There was also no need to suck in the gut before buttoning and zipping up. I hope that the pants I bought will be long enough to not need letting out, but I have moved my sewing box closer to where I sit in the evenings just in case I need to fix anything.
J came home from school happy. Everyone, according to the comm book, complimented him on his long pants. J, who is very proud of his sense of style and his looks, was very flattered and happy. (Isn’t it lovely when people pull together to achieve a nice, smooth transition for your kid? Not that he doesn’t look handsome…of course he does! But the fact that everyone knows how he was rejecting the long pants and helped encourage their use…priceless!)
Of his own volition, J is changing up the order in which he does things when he gets home. We hit the same marks, just in different order…like a choreography that has been fine-tuned to please the dancer. I have discovered that he enjoys the walk through the lawn and coming in through the bottom level better than he does the front door. I have also noticed that he prefers putting my cell phone in my purse; he knows that I only use it for the bus to call if there’s a problem, so J takes it to the front room and places it in a pocket inside my bag. He hangs my keys, empties his school bag, hangs our jackets and then changes his clothes. Food, I have discovered, comes into the mix once he’s comfortable and ready to settle in for the afternoon.
Today I was upstairs putting away my shoes and I’d left Zelda the Hellion Cat roaming the kitchen level. J was in the basement with the door closed and Zelda was circulating freely. J now knows that the closed door indicates Zelda is not in the garage, and I heard the door open and J walking around. The cat, of course, was happily jingling away on the stairs and, with a nary a peep to be heard or sensed from where I was standing, J walked past the cat and up the stairs into my room. He has a tendency to check what I’m doing, if I’ve changed into “at home” clothes, and he was checking up on me then. Zelda was going up and down the stairs, playfully, happily, unconcerned with the big kid that screams when she’s running around.
The fact of the matter is that J was totally unconcerned, too. It’s not that he didn’t see the jet black ball of fur that was traipsing around him. It’s not that he didn’t hear the persistent jingling she makes as she moves. No, J simply was totally fine with Zelda…BECAUSE I WAS NOT AROUND!
Two minutes later, we walk downstairs together, and there is Zelda (eyes big and yellow) and J starts squealing like a stuck pig and running in place like he’s just seen an evil spirit. Of course, the dead giveaway that this is all fabricated drama is that he is looking at me out of the corner of his eye, and getting louder as I ignore him. I simply scooped Zelda up and said “come here, J. Pet the cat!” Absolute, sudden silence, and J moves towards me…huge hand stretched out and gently patting the furry black head.
The ice has been broken with senior feline and resident hat-wearer alike…happy days are approaching us…
This evening I went downstairs after dinner to fold laundry. I was going to carry the basket upstairs and work in the dining room, but then I figured “what the heck!” So I spilled the contents of the basket on the family room floor and set to the task of folding.
J cleared his throat.
I looked up and noticed he was holding out a movie. I leaned and grabbed it, cleaned it and popped it into the DVD player after insisting on a specific verbal request for help from J. A quick roll of the eyes was followed by I NEED HELP WITH MOVIE PLEASE. Ok, done. I sat on my heels and continued working.
J cleared his throat.
I looked up once more and noticed he was staring at me. Yes, I asked. The movie he’d chosen was playing in the background, and J kept going back to the same scene over and over. I paused and looked at him. J rolled his eyes, messed with the remote control again and back to the same scene. I squinted at him and shrugged. Another roll of the eyes, a clearing of the throat and back to the same scene.
WHAT, I said, are you trying to tell me???? J nodded towards the TV and cleared his throat while rolling his eyes.
Two minutes later, as I emerged from the stairwell with a heavy basket full of laundry, my husband asked why I was laughing. “Your son,’ I told him, ‘basically smacked me down through a video.” The puzzled look on Dada’s face warranted more detail so I sent him downstairs with strict instructions to sit and make himself comfortable.
Five minutes later, he burst out laughing and I heard him make his way to the dining room. “Did it to you, didn’t he?,” I asked. Yes, Dada answered.
J, who people often think is so clueless, played over and over again the scene in A Goofy Movie where Max and Goofy are in the car and sing that song (On the Open Road) where Goofy thinks it’s an awesome idea to go camping with his son. All the while, Max is talking about how lame his dad is.
Smacked down? Indeed. But our consolation is that Max eventually realizes his dad is not so lame…until An Extremely Goofy Movie.
Who says J doesn’t know how to communicate? Certainly not us.