Thursday, October 18, 2007

"This is MUCH healthier"

So after writing to the social worker about WoW we continued to have an interesting evening.

I must have looked like a sideways bobble doll as I think I shook my head with amazed disbelief all evening long.

I kept thinking things like:

-How can someone offer you money for access to the computer so that you can get naked and you not respond by thinking that they are either suspicious or creepy?

-Why would he endanger his account for nudity? I mean, the ability to breathe underwater, teleport, have unlimited life points I would get. But nudity? Is it a boob thing? I think I would understand a boob thing.

And this fun recurring thought: If suggesting that WoW did not make him happy and maybe he should not play sent him into a manic fit and resulted in our spending four hours in the emergency room, what will he do when we say we are taking it away completely?

If I tell him BEFORE he goes on respite will that mean that he will have time to deal with it before he gets back or that he will throw such a fit there that the respite provider will either call me and say, "come get this kid" or refuse to ever do respite again? If I tell him after will that mean that I have to deal with a full blown melt-down? Will he do more than slash a couple of shirts and stab a stuffed toy?

Maybe I am just too tired to think about this right now.

---
But last night he had agreed to be off all video games and he did not protest that. He got out his old code book and decided that he wanted to learn to write in Elvish.

We let him get on the Internet, supervised, so that he could print out a few pages on the Elvish alphabet. This was a creative, interesting, MUCH HEALTHIER activity. So now, please, let me share some snippets of conversation from my evening.

Brian: "DUDE, you know that there isn't really such a thing as Elvish, don't you? What you are printing out is just something someone made up."
Frankie: "I know! But look, this site has pages on the history and everything! This is the real Elvish that like everyone knows is the real made-up Elvish!"
Brian, "Dude, there is no such thing!"
Frankie, "Yes there is, and I know it isn't real."
Me (quietly): "Brian, I will give you a million dollars if you LET IT GO."

Brian (stage whisper), "But mom!"
Me (deathly stage whisper) "LET IT GO."

Frankie: "Yondalla, I just want it to print this little bit but it wants to print too much. How do I print just that?"
I show him.
Frankie: "NO. It's printing everything. NO! I can't make it stop!" (Frustrated crying begins). "No! No! Oh why can't I make it do what I want? Why am I so stupid? Yondalla! Why won't it work?" ... "Oh. It is working. Never mind!"

Later:
Brian, "You know you aren't writing Elvish right? You are just writing English in Elvish letters."
Frankie, "That's Elvish."
Brian, "Elvish is a whole different language!"
Frankie, "You said it wasn't real, so it doesn't matter!"
Brian, "You can't say it is a different language, even a fictitious language, if it's English"
Frankie, "It isn't fickshus, it's Elvish!"

Later still:
Frankie: "Brian, I don't get this chart. Why are those marks over the letters?"
Brian: "Those are marks used in to show how to pronounce the letter in English."
Frankie: "But this about Elvish!"
Brian, "DUDE! I know. Listen to me. That column is the Elvish symbols. That column is how you pronounce it. They show that with the letters and symbols in English."
Frankie: "I don't care about the pro-nounce-iation!"
Brian: "'PRO-NUN-CEE- A --TION!'"
Frankie: "I said I didn't care about proNUNcing it!"
Brian shaking his head, "Dude, those symbols tell you how to pronounce the Elvish symbols in English."
Frankie: "That is not how you write English!"
Brian, "It is how they write it in dictionaries!"
Frankie: "I have never seen that in a dictionary! Yondalla, that isn't how we write English, is it?"
Me: "Sweetie, those are the symbols that dictionaries use to show how to pronounce words. If you get a dictionary I will show you."
Frankie, beginning to make long whining, frustrated crying noises, "I don't know where a dictionary is! We don't have one! I just want to know what the Elvish symbol for 'a' is and they have like four a's! Why are there four a's?"
I throw a look at Brian that says, "You speak, you die." I grab a paper and pen and say to Frankie, "Honey look at these words: cat, father, cape. See how they all have a's? What sound do each of them make? Well, in Elvish, they have a different symbol for each one of those sounds. If you want you can use any 'a' symbol you want."
Frankie, "Okay. Do you want me to write your name in Elvish?"
Me: "Sure" (Since my name is not really 'Yondalla' the following conversation is adjusted, of course.)
Frankie: "Spell it." I do.
He works. "Is the 'Y' silent?"
"No."
"Is the 'o' silent?"
"No."
"Is the "d" silent?"
"No. NOTHING is silent in my name."
"Which 'a' is it?"
"It doesn't matter."
"Which one?!"
(Sighing) "Show me the list.... That one."
He works. He shows me. I agree that my name written in Elvish is pretty.

He asks Hubby to write his name. He re-writes it in Elvish. Hubby expresses his appreciation.

Frankie, "Brian, do you want me to write your name in Elvish?"
Brian, "Dude, it is NOT Elvish! It is just English with Elvish symbols."
Frankie: "I'm going to learn Druidish next."


And that ends the selections of the conversation at our house. It was definitely much, much better than him sitting at the computer and saying, "Look! A wuf!"

Right?

11 comments:

  1. 80 bucks says Brian asks to move to a foster home by Christmas LOL

    Seriously, reading the other stuff below, it sounds like he just has NO CLUE. None. Whatsoever. It doesn't sound like he cared about the nakedness, although it probably entertained him somewhat. He purely did it for the money.

    Its moments like these that I forget he's a teenager instead of oh, say, 9?

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  2. If that is better, I don't want to see bad, cause I think there would be one or two dead kids at my house. I think you need some duct tape for Brian.

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  3. Wait, this is BETTER? Holy crap!

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  4. Is there an emoticon for sarcasm?

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  5. Maybe you can by the lord of the rings for him on audiobooks. I mean that must be a month of queit and it has Elvish..

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  6. I don't think that Frankie really cared much about the nudity. IMHO, I think he was more interested in the virtual money he was going to receive. I doubt very seriously he was thinking he would endanger his account. I think he was just thinking about the cash. He probably would have done the same thing if they had offered a patch that glued a punch of bananas to his forehead.

    I think that's one of the reasons that the entire thing is so funny. Frankie is 15 years old. Granted, he's developmentally much younger, but the tale is a lot more hilarious when you think of it in that context. If you think about it in the context of a 9 or 10-year-old, it's much more disturbing.

    If/when you take WoW away completely, he'll probably be upset. I would tell him shortly BEFORE he goes on respite. If he has a crisis, maybe the respite person will be able to deal with it. If not, then you'll have to decide whether or not you'll be able to deal with this level of behavior on an ongoing basis.

    The Elvish conversation sounds almost as annoying as the conversations you have about WoW. Almost as annoying...

    Good luck!

    Although I'm not a gambler by any means, and I wouldn't be willing to put money on it, I'm inclined to agree with Mrs. Butter B. It would not entirely surprise me if Andrew or Brian comes to you before the end of the year saying, "Mom! Get this kid out of here before we kill him!"

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  7. I agree with the pre-respite telling. If he melts down, let her handle it. Perhaps he needs to see a scary lady's reaction to his dramatic crap.

    It is also possible that his infantile responses and self-focused behaviors are in part because he was babied in the institutions. They tend to do that, partially because its easier to monitor whiny baby fits than actually confronting terrible habits and behaviors in a therapuetic manner.

    At least from what we've seen, its like that. Perhaps Mrs-Christian-Coalition will lay the smack down on him haha.

    With that said, please note I am a Christian, highly conservative, just not stuck up my own rump. So don't anyone start flaming me for my comments, pleez.

    In fact, I might would write Frankie a note, explaining why he's losing that privilege and how it isn't healthy and suggesting other things for him to do, and hand it to him as he's departing the car for the respite home.

    But I'm a chicken, so there.

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  8. Out of curiousity, does Frankie do better when everything is highly scheduled? In talking to a friend who has a daughter with Aspergers, she mentioned that if things are not tightly scheduled, she melts down and obsesses over stupid ridiculously unimportant stuff. Like whether the hairbows on her baby dolls are tied evenly. Or if the decor statues are facing the same direction.

    Perhaps Frankie needs less freedom mentally- the old "idle hands/devils workshop" thing. Maybe he needs to have a typed out, detailed schedule for every waking minute, and it needs to be mostly work, very little play. At least on some level, work rather than play.

    Heck, I have no clue. I can't even figure out why I'm suddenly so attached to a total stranger that I've never met, doesn't know where lives, and only knows a pseudonym for. Something about this kid just rips at me, for sure.

    But tell Brian he's earning good points from the internet. I'm amazed at his patience and lack of violence at this point. Too bad he's not a little older, he'd make me a great son in law ha ha.

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  9. hey, if he figures out druidish let me know! i wouldn't mind learning to speak it either! i love mrs butter b's suggestion about handing him the note! i needed a really good laugh tonight and that did it for me! so thanks mrs butter b, where ever you are!

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  10. Seriously..these sound like the completely insane conversations we have with Bug sometimes.

    My extreme sympathies. It annoyed me just to read it. Brian and Callie need to form a support group.

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  11. I think Brian did finally get the little brother he wanted you to get for him. He is definitely getting to play the big brother role now. It is the torment the younger brother role, but whatever, at least he's getting to do it.

    And, seriously, dude! It is just too easy to resist! Frankie really does sound about 9 and Brian really sounds about 8th grade. I have 9 year old and I teach middle school so I hear it a lot. Kinda wierd when you remember that Frankie is 15. Poor kid.

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