Thursday, December 09, 2010

Confessions of the Nonverbal

I know you get not much but whine from me these days, when you get anything at all. Hard days at Casa Satanica, what with me on the road so much, consumed by a fucking horrible project for a fucking horrible customer in a fucking horrible place (back to the land on Sunday, and it's looming larger in my fear place than it usually does, because it's all just so fucking horribly exhausting and so fucking horribly wrong).

Ilse and the little men are troupers for putting up with this shit. You who know me personally and well know that I tire easily of the family gig, at the immediate in-your-grille action level, though the longer haul is fine--I made the associated choices freely and after long contemplation of permanence (a state I had for some time forsworn), even if I need to escape to the laptop or the PS3 to clear myself of the day's poisons.

This thing, the days and days away from home, eating crap, communicating by Webcam (a recent and very nearly successful experiment made even more merry by focusing the cam on my bald spot and my nostrils, to the great amusement and gaggification of Databoy), suffering the raw exercise of power to no good purpose while exercising same for same in an awesome demonstration of practical gravity; it wears, it burns, and every proximate moment with any of them is precious beyond measure. It will no doubt startle my intimates that I can say this levelly of, say, Databoy, who is at 12 a very nearly unmitigated pain in the ass at most moments of most days.

You may remember Bam-Bam, on whom we last looked in entertainingly some five years ago (here's a less entertaining bit of Bam-Bam background, with other autism stuff--Bam-Bam and not--under the Actual Science link in the Demonic Cloud of Tagginess somewhere to your right). He probably has it hardest of everyone. He has no idea why I disappear. It's starting to ease for him a little as the disappearances become semi-normal (and are always followed by reappearances). The Webcam thing, which we tried mostly for him, was only semi-successful because he alternated between trying to rub noses with Ilse's laptop, and running away to bounce on his trampoline because the whole notion of his Landru on the teevee was a bit much for him to handle.

Anyway, Bam-Bam and I maintain the special relationship that we've had ever since our family came together under a single roof back in 2006. I'm the parent who puts him on the bus, the one who gets him up, the one who tucks him in--it seems to be his choice. He doesn't ignore his mama, and she has her uses--mostly food provision. But we're close, me and Bam-Bam. There's stuff he expects me to do, and one of Bam-Bam's quirks is that expectations are expected to be actualized, dammit. He's still nonverbal, but he's gotten much more sophisticated at communicating his expectations. I'd even venture to say he's clever. He's sure as hell not dumb--he's demonstrated some pretty sophisticated evasion strategies, and the giggling when he's busted pretty much puts a lock on the notion that he's pulling those on purpose. On the other hand, he's also pretty accomplished at trying to tell you what he thinks you want to hear.

So it's been an awesome week, really, just getting to be at home and put the boy on the bus. The other day, the bus was really late. We started a conversation of sorts.

Me: Did you bribe Tricia and Cheryl [bus driver and aide] not to come today?
Bam-Bam: *nodnodnod*
Me: That's some pretty criminal masterminding, boy. You sure?
Bam-Bam: *nodnodnod*
Me: Mmkay. Lindbergh kidnapping, you do that one too?
Bam-Bam: *nodnodnod*
Me: I always knew they screwed that Hauptmann guy. What about the Northridge Earthquake of 1989?
Bam-Bam: *nodnodnod*
Me: Yikes. Black Sox Scandal?
Bam-Bam: *nodnodnod*
Me: Dayum. Abstract impressionism.
Bam-Bam: *nodnodnod*
Me: Oh, come on. Okay, all the missing pictures of Trotsky, ever?
Bam-Bam: *nodnodnod gigglefest*

(Bus arrives)

While I look forward longingly to a day when the boy can tell me, in his words and voice, exactly what the fuck he wants, what he's thinking, why why why why why--a day which may or may not come, and there's no sense whinging or even hoping on that--we do okay for talk, me and Bam-Bam. And today, and tomorrow, the last two days of the home stand, are the best days of my life. Until, etc.


GrizzlyPlaytoy4Rent said...

Geez, that was heartfelt and unexpected. Not to mention awfully daddy-like. Good on ya, mate. There might be hope for you yet.

Jack Crow said...

I can't imagine. That's a truth. I can't wrap my head around it, the gap between a parent and a child, the way you've written it.

Words fail.

Landru said...

This sounds trite, but it really doesn't necessarily take words. Sure, they're convenient. But he's an awesome kid, period.

Landru said...

I should also note that he's very good with receptive language. I mean, no, the Trotsky reference went over his head, which provokes a response directly in proportion to your tone of voice. But he understands a lot of what we say. If the boy does speak one day (beyond non-language), I shudder to think about what his first word will be.

BDR said...

Heh, hopefully it's the one you unsuccessfully tried to bribe Planet to say!


Purplestate said...

Goddammit Landru.

Just when I got used to the idea that you aren't human, there you go, wrecking my fragile worldview.

And, if the boy really is responsible for Abstract Impressionism (and its as good an explanation as we're likely to get) then he'd best keep quiet about it.

For everyone's safety.

"dimpap" Dammit. You're capcha knows who I am!

Sasha said...

Bam Bam rocks.

But I'm pretty stunned by the folks who didn't know you're human.

Good luck in S/Fucktucky. You know ...

Jim H. said...

As Wisdoc says, it takes 'em awhile before they get interesting. Boys in particular don't start abstract thought (different, of course, from impressionism) until much later.

Well-rounded, able to laugh (especially at me and at themselves), skeptical of authority (even my own), decent, empathetic (or at least capable thereof), emotionally honest: these are the sorts of things I (as an older, but not necessarily Wiser pop)'ve tried to steer my brood towards.

Jim H.

Swami said...

This is why I love you. You can say "fucking" 5 times in your opening paragraph, damn a whole state, and yet come off as a subtle, intuitive and engaging humanitarian. Which you fucking are! Totally awesome.