for little boys. I have four of them. And my oldest boy will be 11 in April. He is my kiddo with autism. And he never ceases to amaze me. Monday night, my husband and I went to dinner. And on the way there, my husband hands me a very dog-eared red spiral notebook.
He says, "I brought this for you to look at."
"What is it?" I ask.
"It's Alex's drawing notebook. Just take a look and tell me what you think."
"Oh... Kay....." I am nervous, wondering what is up.
So, I open the cover, and look at the first page. It's a dog. With some kind of bubbles above his head that I can't quite figure out, but, it's a dog... I turn the page. Another dog, some different bubbles, this time with words in them. Apparently the dog is hungry. I turn the page again, and it's another dog. And it's very similar to the page before. And as I'm turning the next page, I start to say, "ok, honey, I see dogs, what else...? And I gasp. Because upon turning the page, I see it. Finally.
It's a dog. And apparently, it's a male dog. Know how I know? Because it has a penis. YEP. You read correctly. So, I start turning pages quickly, and EVERY page (except for a few dragons at the end-apparently female- and some Star Wars ships) is a dog with a penis. I flip backwards to the first few I looked at, thinking maybe, just MAYBE these first few don't have them, because I didn't notice them. NOPE. They all have a penis. Now, this is significant for a few reasons:
1. None of our pets, past or present, are male.
2. My husband insists that he has never drawn an anatomically correct dog.
3. The therapist Alex sees also says she's never seen a kid draw a penis on a dog.
4. IT'S A 70 PAGE NOTEBOOK, and about 60 of those pages are dogs with a penis.
So, trying to be nonchalant, on the way home from counseling last night, I say, "Hey, Alex.. I was looking at your drawing notebook today, and you have been drawing lots of dogs."
"Yeah," he says.
"So, I was noticing that they pretty much all had a penis, is there a reason for that?"
"umm, yeah, cuz they're boy dogs." And his tone is sort of like, I don't get the problem here, Mom, don't you know that boys have a penis?
So, I say, "well, buddy, you're drawing these at school sometimes, right?"
And I say, "Well, if the teacher sees that, you probably will get in trouble, because it's not real appropriate to draw pictures of anything with a penis when you're at school. So, it would be really helpful if you wouldn't draw dogs or anything with a penis while you're at school, ok?"
"Ok, Mom." And I'm thinkin, GOOD, this wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. And then he says, "Hey, Mom?"
"So, when it's summer vacation, I'm allowed to draw penises again?"
First off, I am trying not to choke on my McDonald's cherry pie. And trying not to laugh. Because although he is 11, his maturity level is nowhere NEAR that. And he's not kidding. And it would not be an appropriate response for me to laugh at this sincere, innocent question. But he wanted an answer. So, I said, "buddy, lets get through the rest of the school year with no penises on dogs, and then we can discuss it some more when school is out."
What else could I say? All I could think about was the fact that the BSA gives this kid access to bb guns and archery equipment at day camp. It was sort of a sobering thought.
More sobering is the fact that anything that he gets told comes out of his mouth with no regard for who is listening or who can hear him. It's not his fault, he just does not have the filter he needs to deal with certain types of information. So, I can't talk to him about certain things without it being discussed with the rest of the children in our family. So, we keep muddling along.
I am SO glad that we don't have a male dog or cat. And maybe I will buy him a male fish. Because then there won't be a penis on it. At least not visible. OY...