Tonka has a friend visiting today. The friend, let’s call him Woody a la Toy Story, says EVERYTHING in a whiiiinnnnnyyyyyyyyyy voice.
I am looking for an ice pick to gouge out my own eardrums.
And I’m feeling guilty. Woody’s mom has told me she’s fairly certain he’s somewhere on the Autism Spectrum. He’s certainly got a lot in common with my Queenie – the rigidity, lack of awareness of nonverbal cues, sensory sensitivity, black-and-white thinking, inability to modulate voice tone and volume. The whining almost certainly comes from the way his brain is wired. My own daughter has these same issues with her brain wiring – you’d think I’d be more patient with Woody’s whining.
Tonka and Woody first met when we brought Tonka home from China at the age of 22.5 months. Tonka was almost nonverbal, what with the cleft lip and the not-speaking-English. Woody was the same age but very, very verbal. They quickly became inseparable. When it was time to start Junior Kindergarten, I wrote a letter to the school asking that Tonka be placed in the same class as Woody because Woody could interpret for Tonka. I wasn’t yet clear what Woody was getting out of the relationship.
Over the past year and a half, their relationship has evolved. Tonka’s speech has become more clear and he doesn’t rely on his friend for translation and interpretation anymore. Now it seems that Woody is leaning on Tonka more than vice-versa. Tonka has social skills. Tonka can handle complex situations. When the classroom environment becomes overwhelming for Woody, he just quietly leaves what he’s doing and comes over to sit beside Tonka. It’s very sweet to see. Tonka doesn’t even look up when his friend joins him – he just moves over and makes room for Woody to sit beside him.
I’m glad my son is such a rock for his friend. Sometimes he is a real pill to his sister, and it’s good to know that when the sibling dynamics are removed from a relationship he’s able to be caring and sensitive to someone with issues that are similar to his sister’s. Woody’s family is also very caring and generous with my family, and I’m glad I can help out his mom by watching Woody this morning.
But if the whining doesn’t stop…well, I can’t find the ice pick. Do you think this flathead screwdriver would do the trick?