Posts Tagged ‘scooter’

I used my lunch hour early today and met my mom and aunt T at Wildwood for Jonah’s “moving up” ceremony, which in his case takes on another meaning, as he is also “moving out.”   We sat there amid the mild noise and semi-chaos of a room full of kids with autism, me wondering if they’d get Jonah up on the stage at all.  He wasn’t in the room – they had him out in the hallway and were pulling him around on the scooter.  Three classes “moved up,” his being the last.

The first class was seated on the stage, each child waiting for his or her turn – a miracle, in my estimation.  The teacher handed each child a certificate honoring some particular accomplishment or progress achieved over the course of the year, and announced the gains each child had made.

The next two classes needed aides to guide the kids onto the stage, the crowd chuckling as some kids hurdled the stage instead of walking up the steps.  One cute boy I know bowed deep and got some laughs.  Jonah was the second in his class to be announced.  At first it was like that scene in “The Sound of Music” where they announce the Von Trapp family and everyone applauds, but the Von Trapp family has fled and never appears.  Then they evidently halted his scooter just outside the door and he was escorted in by two or three assistant teachers, who ushered him up the stairs and then snuck him off backstage.

I don’t even recall what they recognized him for.  Best biter?  Champion shit-smearer?

At least he was wearing the Guster shirt I bought him.

Later, back at work, I was melancholy and silent about the whole thing, but then my co-worker, K, came in to ask me how the graduation went.  “It’s more of a moving up ceremony,” I explained.  K’s in a band and I knew what would happen next:  we broke into a spontaneous rendition of the theme song to The Jeffersons:

Well we’re movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deeee-luxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up,
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie!

Fish don’t fry in the kitchen;
Beans don’t burn on the grill.
Took a whole lotta tryin’,
Just to get up that hill.

Now we’re up in the big leagues,
Gettin’ our turn at bat.
As long as we live, it’s you and me baby,
There ain’t nothin wrong with that…

No, there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

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Jonah’s got your usual assortment of ride-on toys:  bikes, scooters, wagons.  My mom even bought him this newfangled thing called a PlasmaCar.  You put your feet up on the toy and it’s propelled along, somehow, by steering and body movements alone.  As described on its website:  “It’s like magic, but you don’t need to be a magician to get it to work. The PlasmaCar is a mechanical marvel that makes use of that most inexhaustible of energy sources, kid-power, by harnessing the natural forces of inertia, centrifugal force, gravity, and friction. It’s so easy to operate; all it needs is a driver and a smooth, flat surface.” The PlasmaCar may be magic, but Jonah doesn’t know that and no amount of demonstration has helped him.  He just puts his feet down on the ground and scoots along on the thing.

We keep all these ride-on toys in our enclosed back porch, where Jonah’s play usually involves carefully arranging the placement of each toy.  Sometimes the construction of a village (in and of itself) is his play:  wagon over here, bike right beside it — angled just so — and the PlasmaCar tucked behind them both.  Even when he drags one out to actually ride on, the ride is always systematic and ritualized:

He’ll arrange the ride-on toys, select one, propel down off the step from the porch to the ground, and travel along our long, straight driveway next to the brick side of the house.  Make a sharp left turn at the walkway and stop at the steps to our front door.  Stand up and turn the toy around. Get back on.  Make sharp left turn and continue down to the edge of the driveway.  Pause.  Turn and travel along the side of the house to the porch area again.  Walk the toy up the step and back onto porch.  Close porch door.  Open porch door.  Steer toy toward the step.  Propel down off the step from the porch to the ground, and travel along our long, straight driveway next to the brick side of the house, etc.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

Some of Jonah’s ride-on toys are outgrown Big Wheel type things that we keep around because Andy babysits a toddler once a week.  We’ve even got a baby stroller in there, and yesterday, for some reason, this was my 8 1/2 year old’s ride-on toy of choice.  He’d never ride in the damn thing when he was stroller age, which gave me a little flare-up of annoyance at such belated interest, but I was generally game.  I  figured he’d let me push him up and down the driveway; I could push him fast, make quick turns, and we’d have fun with it.  But Jonah insisted on going solo, propelling the stroller with his long big-kid legs.

Here he is at the end of our driveway, preparing for the Flintstones-style foot walk-ride back down the driveway.  I’ve ceased to be embarrassed by his many public eccentricities, so this didn’t really phase me; I figure we might even be entertainment for our normal neighbors.  But when he parked the stroller back on the porch, tucked both feet up on its footrest, stuck his thumb in his mouth, and gazed squarely over at me, I had to laugh at the unspoken challenge:

Yeah, I like the stroller.  Whaddaya gonna do about it?

He’s such a punk.

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