Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘lying

U is for Untruth

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I have two very different children. I mean that in the sense that they are different to each other, but also that they are, or can be, different. Atypical. Not the norm, whatever that is. And just to keep me a even higher on my toes (toe-walking!), sometimes they behave very typically, and that confuses me the most of all.

Lately in our house, we have been dealing with a lot of untruths. Cubby is a gifted story-teller, and has been from an early age. I sometimes question whether he can tell the difference between fact and fiction, so immersed is he in his alternate reality. He’ll even assure us that he is not lying as he states things that aren’t true…such as his assertion one evening this week that his school is teaching him to speak Norwegian.

Back when we were in the U.S. a couple of months ago, a lady at the park started speaking to me in Spanish, and after a couple of sentences revealed that I am not exactly a native speaker, she told me that Cubby had informed her that we came from Mexico (he has never been there) and he spoke English because his nanny (we’ve never had one) is from Australia (again, never been there).

I’m puzzled by all of this, because our real backstory is just as interesting as this one he chose to create. I struggled to find a purpose for him telling a complete stranger this misinformation. A friend suggested that it is just more interesting to him, and our reality, even one that spans the world, is mundane to him. He has been there, done that, and other locations are new to him, and therefore intrinsically more exciting.

Pudding is different. I used to believe the myth that autistic children don’t tell lies, but Pudding has disabused me of that, and many other ‘facts’ about autism over the years. She just doesn’t lie on the same scale as her brother. Her more recent untruths have been more pragmatic in nature. They have a function that is very clear to me. Unlike her brother, I understand why she lies. Often it is for the same mundane reasons of most children: she wants to avoid getting into trouble for something she knows she wasn’t supposed to do, or she wants to get something she wants.

But while easier to understand, and certainly easier to deal with than Cubby’s untruths, Pudding’s simple lies are the ones that scare me the most.

As you may know, Pudding has a life-threatening allergy to peanuts and tree nuts. We’ve known this since she was a baby, and her whole life we’ve taught her that she must always avoid these items, as well as many other foods that look safe, but may contain items that are very dangerous to her. She has been able to say from the age of three that she is allergic, and will sometimes volunteer this information about herself to others.

While she carries an epi-pen, and her school cafeteria doesn’t offer nuts, and her classroom is “nut-free” for snacks, we still rely on her to keep herself safe. An incredibly challenging thing for any young child, but more so in the case of one with the additional mix of autism and ADHD.

Imagine then, how scared I was at this story her aide recounted to me last week. It was snack time, and one of the other girls had cookies. A most covetable item at the best of times, but when compared to the healthy choices I’d sent with Pudding (carrots and cucumber sticks with rice cakes), the temptation had been too much.

Noticing Pudding’s gaze, the girl wanted to share. But what is more, before she did, she actually asked Pudding if she had any allergies.

And Pudding said no.

A lie that could, quite literally, kill her.

In this instance, there were no dire consequences. Her wonderful aide was right there, and intervened immediately. There were no nuts in the cookies (thank you, parents who obey nut-free rules), and we know to continue to reiterate the dangers of taking food we don’t know to be safe.

It is messy, this parenting thing. Allowing our kids to be themselves, develop naturally, and yet keep them safe is the hardest thing to do. And that, my friends, is no lie.

This post is part of my A-Z series. You can read the rest by clicking >here<.

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Lies Cubby tells

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Pudding is a mostly truthful person.  She has told a couple of lies, so we know she can lie, but she just doesn’t seem to see the value in untruths.  Perhaps that is another hidden virtue of her autism diagnosis.

Cubby, on the other hand, just loves to lie.  In fact, he rarely tells the truth.  For the most part, they are so outlandish that we aren’t fooled for a moment.  Here are just a few examples:

I speak Polish.

I’m a Chinese person.

Pudding hit me.  (She wasn’t even at home).

I have a baby in my tummy.

Mummy, do you remember when the elephant squashed me?

I fell down underneath a elevator.

I just got back from holiday in Cape Town (we’ve never been).

I killed Mummy.

Daddy is NOT Batman!  (This may be true).

I don’t want chips.  (Spoken with chips in his mouth).

So, just suppose there were some Oreo-style cookies, and Cubby walked in with this face, you might have known better than to ask him if he’d eaten said cookies:

Image

Don’t worry, he assured me he hadn’t touched them.  And he has such honest eyes!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Making Changes

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You may have noticed my new look.  My birthday is next week, and Spectrummy Daddy asked what he could get for me.  All of my other suggestions were preposterous, so he granted my wish of my very own domain name.  From now on, I can be found at spectrummymummy.com like a real website!  Old links should still redirect (I hope) but please let me know if you have any problems accessing any content and I’ll do my best to find someone with the time who can fix it.

Apart from a new coat of paint, everything remains the same.  As we get closer to moving, I’m working to get as many things as I can into order.  Unfortunately, my kids are intent on creating as much disorder as they can.  Spring Break and the lack of routine has taken its toll on us.  Pudding’s sleeping gets worse, and I’m struggling to find the energy to do everything I need to at the moment.  I need to make changes there too.

Speaking of paint, one of the casualties of last week was this house we are renting.  Cubby has discovered the joy of writing on walls.  Pudding also went through this phase up until about a year ago.  She was compulsive in her need to spread her art, but eventually we convinced her to only draw on paper.  She has taken up the activity again with a passion.  We are witnessing the evolution of her lying skills, as I catch her in the act and she blames her brother.  There is no sophistication yet to her subterfuge, but she is getting plenty of practice.  I’m sure with the dedication she puts her into her efforts that she will master the art before too long.  We only buy washable crayons and markers, but between them they manage to find more permanent instruments of destruction.  It looks like painting will be our only option, if I ever can find time alone to do that.

Every single day for the next three weeks contains an appointment.  Things I couldn’t schedule with both kids around that I need to attend to now.  Spectrummy Daddy mused that they call it Spring Break because that is what it does to the parents.  As we struggle in the aftermath to restore some order, I can’t help but agree.  It might be a few more weeks before our house is back in harmony, but not all changes have to be bad.

I hope you like the new site – the only thing this control freak can get to have her way!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 26, 2011 at 7:27 am

Liar liar, pants on fire!

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It was bedtime last night.  Just after we read a story, I dimmed the light. Pudding climbed into my lap and snuggled in close. Lately we’ve been discussing the day as we gently sway together in the rocking chair. But last night we didn’t speak. I took in the warmth of her body, the feel of her soft hair on my cheek, and the gentle sound of our breathing. One of those moments to freeze in time. We sat there for a minute. She is seldom quiet for this long, I wondered what deep thoughts were going through her mind.

Then she farted.

A loud one.  A great big whoopee cushion that I felt as well as heard.

We both giggled.

Me: What was that?

Pudding: Cubby.

Me: Cubby? No, I think I heard something, what was it?

Pudding: A trump. Cubby did a trump!

Me: Oh really, is that so?!

Pudding: Yes. He’s a stinky boy!

And there goes another autism myth: kids on the spectrum most definitely can lie. The one fringe benefit I was hoping for, my girl always telling me the truth- every parent’s dream come true. But one little lie, another step in progress. Further evidence of a theory of mind.  I cannot tell a lie, I was thrilled!

……..

I was about to hit publish on this post, when I noticed the kids were quiet (always a bad sign).  I went to the kitchen to find a chunk missing from my french toast that was cooling on the side.  Though the kids had already breakfasted on soy yogurt and buckwheat waffles, it appears somebody was hungry.  Wheat, egg, milk: the triple whammy of Pudding’s allergies.  Sigh.

Me: Did you eat that?

Pudding: No.  (as she spoke I saw the food inside her mouth).

And here is my payback for rewarding lies with laughter last night.  You can’t win ’em all!  We’ll wait and see what adverse reaction she has to eating my food.  It was only a morsel.  Perhaps the worst that will happen will be a little flatulence.

I wonder who she’ll blame it on this time?

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm