Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Dealing with other kids' mean comments about your child
Max's mouth is typically open. It's a position that comes naturally to him; his oral-motor control is still coming along. And so, he drools a lot, something Sabrina's asked about. And gives the most wonderful big, slurpy kisses (here he is on the Disney cruise, planting one on Donald).
I'm used to the drool; other kids, not so much. It's the one thing that sets Max apart from them, aesthetically (I never was able to use those Transderm Scop patches we got for him, I'm just unwilling to put Max on any more medication). When we were at the pool over the weekend, a little boy from down the block, Finn, bounded up to Max and said an enthusiastic "Hello, Max!" Finn was with another neighborhood kid who doesn't know Max. Max was so excited to see Finn he leaned in to kiss him, mouth open wide, and drooled.
"Ewwwwww," said the other kid. "That's gross."
"Sometimes he does that," I said, simply. Then both boys bounded off into the pool.
Afterward, I wondered whether I should have also said, straight up, "You know, it's not nice to say that." This kid is about five, and unaware of the effect of his words—a good time to teach him. But here's the thing: It's going to be hard enough for Max to befriend typical kids; I don't want to further handicap him by being a preachy mom. I wondered if I should have found this kid's mother (I know who she is) and said something. Then I had the thought, as I was lying in bed last night, that I should have drooled a little myself and said, brightly, "It runs in the family!" (I often have moments of clarity like this late at night.) Now I'm sanely thinking I should set up a playdate with Finn and this other child to help them better understand Max and see what a cool kid he is, drool and all.
I'm just making this up as I go along, you know?