Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I’ve often said I’ve never in G’s entire life wanted to hit him. Until yesterday.

Leaving Pardner’s basketball game at the rec center, G – who has the balance of, um, a person without balance - casually threw a leg over a slippery metal pole and was about to slide down the skinny handrail that hung over a three story stairwell.

I was about ten feet away, attending to his little sister, when I heard him ask, “Can I slide down this?” Quicker than one would think possible, I was at his side and pulling him off the railing. I pushed him against the wall where he would be safe. I felt a surge of adrenaline such as I’ve rarely if ever felt before and only at great effort prevented myself from punching him.

My voice, when it came out, didn’t even sound like me. It sounded like a very hoarse man: “DID YOU LOOK??? DID YOU? DID YOU SEE THAT YOU WOULD ALMOST DEFINITELY HAVE SLIPPED OFF THAT RAILING AND DIED???”

Here is a picture of the stairwell I took when we returned to discuss this again: you can see the kids’ heads and shoulders waaaay down there. G asked, from below, “Do you want me to pretend I am dead?” 


I've written before about trying to get G to Pay Attention to the WorldI can’t say my lectures around his almost sliding into oblivion (or, at least, severe injury) felt groundbreaking. But, since it is clearly so incredibly, desperately beyond important, I tried: “You need to think before you act, [G]. Remember how I have been asking you to pause when you leave school and close your eyes and think if you’ve forgotten anything? Well you need to do that much, much more. Like, whenever you are about to do…anything.

“It’s not that something’s wrong with you that makes it necessary to think before you act.

Everybody has to think before they act.

“Your sister. in particular, has to think before she speaks. Because she talks a lot and sometimes says sassy stuff. But you need even more to think before you do something, like cross the street. Most people already DO THAT. But you don’t.

“You could have been dead yesterday. Look at my face. Can you imagine how we would all be feeling today if that had happened?”

Unfortunately, I don’t feel like he’s really listening or grasping the impact of my words -- or the possible repercussions of his actions. He’s one of the smartest people I know, yet I still honestly have no idea how to teach him common sense in a way that sticks.

Later in the evening Z was doing her usual acrobatics on the living room rug and G said, “[Z], you’re a calamity waiting to happen,” and I laughed – laughed! – “Look who’s talking!”

“Well, mom, a calamity is also a great disturbance in the atmosphere…”

I think I am still calamitized. To see your child almost off himself in the silliest, most-preventable of ways is pretty devastating. Even more devastating: not knowing how to ensure it doesn’t happen again in a slightly different, potentially highly-avoidable way.

But we will keep trying.

I am so grateful this Thanksgiving that G is still alive, in all his huggable glory.

I am grateful for another chance to try to help him to gain some goldang sense.

Full Spectrum Mama

P.S. I am having weird formatting issues. My apologies to those who don't enjoy reading in this format...As you may have noticed there is one portion of this post that is in my old school format. I do not know why...and can't change the rest without making blocks that cover all the words...Le sigh.


  1. Oh my, yes!! This is a lesson that is ongoing and still not sinking in around here too. And, it's the main reason why I still look like a crazy helicopter parent to my taller-than-me child. His interests and impulses continually seem to trump any attempt to teach safety. Sometimes I think it's getting better...but then the next situation will scare the life out of me. Whew, my heart is pumping for you - I'm really, really glad you caught him before the slide...

    1. Dear Stay Quirky,
      Yes, yes, yes! It's not exactly a "relief" to hear that others share our situation, as well as my struggles with imparting - what? A sense of Danger? SENSE?
      And G is huge too. I also felt things were improving but something about puberty hormones plus growth spurt (number a million) has put G in his flailingest phase yet.
      Welp, please do let me know if you have any tips. I do read your blog faithfully :)
      FSM - whose heart is still still racing...

  2. How terrifying! I would have been angry/scared too! I have not been holding it together very well lately. My son keeps destroying property through his sensory-seeking behavior and I am soooo OVER it. I raise my voice up more often than I would like.

    1. I am right there with you. It's so bloody hard to know what to do when nothing seems to work. I am thinking about (with all my copious free time and brain power) whether this might be currently some sort of developmental leap for my G because his behaviors have just become really MORE challenging...and sometimes dangerous as well...Perhaps this is part of things for you? In any case, we are both in quite a cycle, sounds like...


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