Thursday, February 5, 2015

Getting Punchy

The other night Olivia and I were standing at our front window, watching the snow fall and being silly. I said something and she responded, “If you don’t stop it, I’ll punch you!”

I laughed and said, “I’ll punch you first and then you will be so busy rolling on the floor in pain you won’t be able to punch me.”

She made a fist and said, “I’m a fast puncher, I’ll punch you before you even make a fist.”

Tom, sitting in the recliner two feet away, had obviously been watching/listening to our silliness. He raised his brows and said, “What’s with all the punching around here?”

I think he was kind of serious. I think he wondered why we’d even joke about such violence.

But the thing is, we don’t hit at all in our house. We’ve never had reason to spank either of our girls and they don’t ever hit each other. It just doesn’t happen. So to Olivia, punching is more of a harmless threat than something that could actually happen.

I get why he was surprised by the word punch but I hoped he realized it was all in fun and not a prelude to me and Olivia knocking each other’s lights out.

Olivia is quite the character at home but in public, when others are watching, it’s a very different story.

At her school’s Christmas program, the music teacher was brilliant when she decided to put Olivia at the very end of the first grade group, with a first grader to O’s right and a second grader to her left. When Olivia didn’t sing (she NEVER sang, nor did she make any of the motions the rest of the groups were making) it wasn’t obvious because the kid on either side of her wasn’t singing or doing motions either.

Last night a dear friend of mine suggested I put Olivia in Sparkle Cheerleading. It’s a program that takes special needs kids, pairs them with a local cheerleading squad, the cheerleaders teach the kids a routine and the entire group performs the routine at a ball game.

It sounds great. And it is great…for the right kids.

Olivia is not that kid.

I asked her last night, “Liv, would you do a cheer routine at a basketball game in front of a bunch of people?”

She didn’t even stop chasing Alyssa as she yelled, “No!”

So that’s that. She’ll be a nut, a performing princess who wants to punch her mom and chase her sister and sit with her dad in the snack chair eating grapes and laughing about farts. But out in public? She’ll be still, she’ll be silent, she’ll watch others and I wonder…will she long to join in or will she secretly think those other kids are just performing monkeys, doing what they’re told and getting a cookie after for a job well done?

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