Saturday, September 29, 2007

They tell me on Thursday that they are very concerned about Ben's aggression at preschool, and I am shocked because the last thing I would call him is aggressive. He is the kid who makes a family of the letter I out of Legos, who pulls The Crucible off the the bookshelf and pretends to read it, who shares toys with Elliott and kisses him good night. Intense? Yes. Stubborn? Yes. Mean and aggressive? I was shocked to hear that they think so. I drove away from the school thinking oh my god he has autism or a psychological problem and am I just being defensive of my kid because he's my kid? Well, of course I am. In any case, after this lovely discussion, I take Ben to the ear nose and throat surgeon in Fontana. As I am driving on the freeway, I am stuck behind a monster truck with a web address in a gigantic font that I cannot avoid advertising a really wonderful-sounding clothing company: Shocking that when I go to check out the website, it doesn't exist or has not been published yet. You'd think with a name like that, that they've got their act together. In any case, onto the surgeon. Ben has now peed all over himself and I do not have an extra pair of shorts, so I take him to the bathroom and he pees in the toilet (yes!) and I change his pull-up and plan on telling anyone who asks about the wet spot that he sat in a puddle. No one asks, thankfully. In the waiting room, a deaf old man complains about the war and says, "Take 'em out, take out his tonsils. I had mine taken out and look at me. I used to be skinny, you know" and when I try to reply to him, he just keeps on talking, a monologue, really, because he can't hear a damn thing I'm saying. The surgeon puts a long scope with a light on the end down Ben's nose and Ben is patient and friendly the entire time, so I promise him a "cake" (aka a muffin) on the way out. Ben needs surgery to remove his adenoids, which may help with the constant, painful coughing and infections during this time of year, and which may also help with his pronunciation of words. So on the way out, I try to buy a muffin, but my one dollar and thirty cents will not cover it and they don't take cards. The kids seem to be laughing at me as I drag Ben over to the ATM, where I am denied because I only have eighteen dollars in my account. What do you have for a dollar thirty? I ask the guys. Nothing, they reply. But then they take pity on me. They ask me what I want. I tell them the lemon muffin and I am flushed with embarrassment and I hope that they are never students in one of my English classes. And the whole way home, Ben eats his muffin and I can't stop thinking about whether or not something is really wrong with him and what I can do to fix it. I still don't know.

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