Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Literal thinking thwaps me upside the head

The Girl is the most literal thinker I've ever met. As part and parcel of her various learning disabilities, she often finds it difficult to think outside the box. Thus, any analogy, oxymoron, or play on words often totally alludes her.

Today, we were in the library talking about a book we were looking at together. It was a book on Family Violence. I had her read a paragraph that was particularly pertinent to the family situation we have been watching. She dutifully read it, but didn't understand one part. I explained it to her, and the light dawned over Marblehead and she said "oh, I get it!". And then I made my crucial mistake.

I said, "With friends like that, who needs enemies?"


I repeated myself.

"Huh? I don't get it."


I know that this is going to be a long drawn out affair. I've been there, done that. It's so hilariously frustrating. So I try to explain the adage. "If you have a friend that is doing bad things to you, then you really don't need enemies, because your friend is actually acting as your enemy."

"That doesn't make sense."

"Sure it does" I respond. "Say it's like your old nemesis G. You thought she was your friend but she constantly got you in big trouble. So, with a friend like G, you didn't need an enemy because she WAS your enemy, right?"

"I don't get it."

At this point I do the mime gun to my head, BAM, and let my head fall over. The lady standing next to my chair browsing books starts chuckling. The Girl reminds me that we're in a library and I have to be quiet. Yeah.

I try to explain it again. The Boy chimes in with his own examples. It does not penetrate. She absolutely cannot understand what I'm talking about.

Literal thinking. Hard to get around it. It's OK, she knows that she misses subtile nuances in speech. Amazing how years of speech therapy has taught her to compensate for her LDs. But I gotta say, there are times when I just want to slap my head like those V8 commercials, because I fall for it EVERY freaking time. I should know better, but I honestly think that every time we come up with these speech issues, I'll be able to explain it so she'll understand. It's MY particular bad mommy moment, because I never succeed and then I get all sad and frustrated and feeling like I suck that my kid can't understand a simple adage.

It's my issue. Just venting because I so want to be successful at this and I do not know how.

However, she CAN recite the entire part in Finding Nemo where Marlon says "With fronds like that, who needs anenomes." That she can do just fine. Upside the head, I swear it. :-)

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Blogger utenzi said...

I didn't remember that line from Finding Nemo. It's funny even without the context of your daughter's literal mindedness, Margalit--but in that context it's really funny.

Literal thinking is a problem. I hope she doesn't end up as a Republican. ;-)

24/6/07 6:47 PM  

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