Yesterday at school, my son exhibited some peculiar behavior when he wouldn’t stop following the principal around. At one point, she came to the second grade classroom where I work to see if I could help, but once my son saw me coming, he turned and went straight to his class.
Later, during a school musical, he asked his teacher if he could sit with the principal and she obliged. As his class was being dismissed, I came out to the hall to see him tailing the poor woman once again. And to top it off, he was doing all of this in silence, like a mime, and we all know how much everybody loves a mime. Oh, wait…
All this? Is not because he has special needs. It is because he’s trying to be funny. When he first started playing the “Me and My Shadow” game, with my boss, I heard her laugh as he was silently standing before her and she asked, “What in the world are you doing?” That was all he needed. One little chuckle and that comic’s bread was slathered with butter.
I was trying to explain this to some parents at soccer practice last night. They both know my son, but neither of them had recognized that he does some strange stuff in an attempt to be funny.
A short time later we looked over to the field where my son was playing goalie during a scrimmage. There were 20 kids waiting for him to kick the ball out to the middle so play could resume. A typical kid would have seen an eager mob, jumping up and down and yelling, “Kick it! Kick the ball!” My son saw a captive audience.
Instead of kicking the ball to his teammates, he slowly walked around to the other side and kicked it into his own goal. The one he was supposed to be protecting.
I turned to the dad I had just been talking to and asked, “See? You see what I mean? He thinks he’s being funny.”
He replied, “Well…he kind of is.”
He might as well have pulled a butter knife out of his pocket.