Thursday, August 30, 2007

Adding levity

Yesterday was Back to School night at Smunch's school. It was kind of fun to join everyone else in the school community and learn a little more about what the kids do. On the other hand, I was kind of blown away by just how busy they keep them. It made me a little tense about just how much is expected of these little guys. Then again, maybe I haven't been expecting enough of my firstborn.

The coup-de-grace of the evening was when Smunch's teacher told us that yesterday was the first day she'd really seen him smiling and laughing...and that he barely stuttered at all during that time. It was because they combined his class with the morning class yesterday and his buddy, Jay, is in the morning class. They were playing together.

But the lingering feeling I had from that conversation was that my child isn't happy enough. And in the back of my mind I see strangers putting the pieces together without any unhappy child who stutters must have a miserable home life and terrible, abusive parents. I'll have to indulge my paranoia a little bit there.

So, today, when the thermometer was up over 90 again, I decided to make sure we did something fun and unexpected. While Smunch was at school, I took Mam to the drug store and bought some squirt guns. I've never been a fan of squirt guns, just for the fact that they're guns, but I figure I've put it off long enough and these are really about the water, not about hurting people.

These weren't little puny water guns either. I bought two great big ones and an assortment of smaller ones...thanks to the 75% off sale at Rite Aid. I had a full arsenal.

I filled them up with water and put them in a bag before heading to pick Smunch up at school. Halfway there, I realized that taking any sort of guns near the kindergarten was probably a bad plan and I stashed them in a bush.

When I picked Smunch up, he told me he'd used the potty at school (this has been an issue) and asked if he could have a treat. Uh, sure. I left it over there across the street for you.

So, of course, he was looking for something the whole way back...and Mam had seen me stash the bag anyway. We had a terrific water fight all the way home...and it lasted for a good while after that too.


Randy said...

I hope I don't offend you but I just want to say that I'm praying for your son. I see alot of myself in the descriptions you have given. I'm 27 and a stutterer. I've done it as long as I can remember. I spent and spend alot of my time "unhappy" compared to others because of the difficulty a stutter can bring...but at the same time I'm fairly positive and social. So I can see why your son is described the way you mentioned. Its good to see a fellow stutterer smiling(the pictures). Best of luck I'll be reading.

MommaWriter said...

No offense taken at all. I'm always happy to hear from other stutterers. Obviously, I don't know what it's like to be in my son's shoes or yours. I only know how hard it is to watch as a parent. There's so little we can really do...although we're doing everything we can think of...and wondering if maybe we're trying too hard. The perspective from your side is invaluable!

Randy said...

Yeah I wish I had great perspective to offer... Just be there when he wants to talk about it and don't talk about it when he doesn't. Kids can be mean about it I guess thats the way it goes, but I remember thinking when I was very young that it was unacceptable for adults to laugh at me. Of course it doesn't really matter what you think but you feel like adults should be more mature. I guess just help people to understand him so he feels comfortable around them.