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6:07 a.m. - 2008-02-14


We're having ... ummm ... issues with Andrew lately.

Keep in mind ... the kid has Aspergers so he's not your normal child and the way YOU as a parent would handle these situations is a lot different from how WE would handle the situations just for the simple fact that YOU have no problem scarring your kid for life whereas WE have to watch and analyze every single move we make to not FURTHER scar the kid.

So anyway ... he's a goddamned liar and a thief.

The problem in both?

He's a HORRIBLE goddamned liar and a thief.

The kid can't lie and steal to save his life. But that sure as shit doesn't stop him from trying.

At school, they get nine points each day. Collect anywhere from 35-45 points each week and you get to have a fun Friday afternoon with different activities each week.

Points are taken away if you fuck up. You know ... kick the crutches out from under a crippled kid ... set the roll of toilet paper in the girls' bathroom on fire ... that kind of stuff.

Sometimes when points are taken away, the reason they're taken away is written. Most times it isn't. The kid's just missing points and it's up to the parent to grill the kid as to why he's missing points.

Normal kid? No problem.

Aspergers kid? You're going to get a 10 minute diatribe about steam engines vs. diesel engines and the values of both in an ever-evolving world of trains before you finally blurt out "Fine. You lost points. No big whoop. Now knock off the train talk, Sir Fucking Topham Hatt."

So anyway, last week he lost points.

But Andrew didn't see this as a problem.

Because where it said "minus two points" ... he figured all he had to do was scratch that out with his pencil and make a check mark instead.

Pretty smart, huh?


Except not.

His teacher saw this and wrote "Andrew changed this on his own."

Seriously. We had to laugh about it.

Mainly because I forged my dad's signature on more than one progress report in my school days.

But the stealing?

Holy shit.

It's gotten to where every time I take him in a store, I have to shake him down for stolen goods before we reach the checkout counter.

About a year ago, he shoplifted some Tic Tacs.

He could have asked to get them and me, being the pushover that I am, would have said "sure".

After all ... a kid's gotta have fresh breath, right?

But instead he jammed 'em in a pocket and waltzed out the grocery store door with them.

He probably would have gotten away with it if he didn't sound like a popcorn machine with every step he took.

So we took the Tic Tacs back in the store and paid for them, not really knowing what else to do because he was freshly diagnosed with Aspergers and you have to give a kid like that some sort of leniency in my book while you're desperately searching for answers on how to handle this shit from the stacks of books and internet info you've accumulated on the topic.

Then last week I went to pick him up from school and parked right in front of the front doors.

And as he made his way to the two glass doors, I saw him saying goodbye to every adult lined up in the hallway ... but he had his hands behind his back and was walking down the hallway sideways with his back against the wall.

Which is the universal kid sign for "I've stolen something, I'm hiding it behind my back and I'm trying to get out of here without anyone figuring it out."

He got in the car and I asked him what he had behind his back.

"Nothing," he said quietly.

"We're not going anywhere until you show me what you've got," he said.

"Nothing," he said again.

At this point, I could either hold up a line of impatient parents in a carpool or I could ease into traffic and continue the grilling as we drove home.

I chose the latter because I have a real problem pissing people off in the real world. I want everyone to love me.

Blame it on my parents, I dunno. Or don't pass judgment on me. That might be better at this juncture.

Anywhoo ... long story short ... he had a boy's black knit stocking cap.

Now, I have no idea if he stole this from another kid or not.

But his reasoning was justified. When they go outside to play, his ears get cold.

The kid's never been crazy about hats and now he understands their purposes and is ready for a hat and doesn't think his parents are going to spring for a hat for him so he lifts one from school.

Long story shorter ... it was from a Lost and Found box, nobody had claimed it and the P.E. teacher let him wear it because it was cold and he wanted to keep it and came up with the elaborate scheme to steal it (the hiding it behind his back ploy).

We went to Walmart and bought him two hats for a dollar apiece which he loves.

We took the stolen hat back to school where it's back in the Lost and Found box.

And I can't hardly teach the kid that stealing is wrong when every time he steals I buy him what he's stolen.

I know ... I know ... I'm one lousy parent.

But in my defense ... I never signed up for this shit.

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