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Archive for October 3rd, 2010

“Knock knock knock”?  Jonah asks me.

This is not the beginning of a joke, but a request.  He is asking me to knock on his head.  I knock three or four times on spots all over his noggin; he giggles and says “fast!”  So I knock faster, using both hands to create light little rhythms.  Jonah loves to be knocked on the head – what can I say?  Knick knack paddywack.

He also loves other kinds of sensory pressure.   Some folk on the autism spectrum are really sensitive to touch and can’t tolerate certain textures or pressures, but Jonah craves them all.  He wants to cuddle so close that he melts into the shape of you.  He wants tight squeezes and massaging pressure on his shoulders, neck, and back.  He wants to reach out from the backseat of the car and gently place his fingertips on my shoulders, sometimes pulling as if to gather me closer.  Sometimes if he is freaking out in the car, I calm him by pressing my hand on his knee.  (This technique got us from Cape Cod all the way back to Albany when Jonah had such a hard time keeping it together after vacation).

“Huck?  Huck?” he asks every time he’s done something wrong and wants to get back in your good graces.  It’s his unspoken apology, overused and often insincere.  You’re not sorry, you little shit, I think sometimes. You just want  a hug.

Worse is “up up up?” –  meaning he wants me to pick him up and carry him, usually from the car (where he has just flipped out) to the house (which is where he’ll end up, specifically in his room).  But this is where I draw the line.  The kid is eight and a half, for the love of God, and though he’s thin and lanky like his mama, he’s still at least a good 50 pounds and liable to break my back.

So I walk heavily, practically limping, Jonah hanging and clutching onto me; I’ve grown a massive, screaming tumor from my midsection and my mission is to deliver it inside.  It’s like we’re playing that three legged race game at the elementary school Olympics.   So, mushed together in a human blob, we walk as one up the stairs and into the house.

Where he’ll likely ask for a hug – and later, once he’s calmed down, “knock knock knock?”

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