I try to let L do as many "normal" things as possible. One of the things I've allowed this year is riding the bus to and from school. She was excited at the prospect of it and seems to really enjoy it. I did not, however, think about the possible repercussions of this new-found freedom.
How did I not think this would be an issue? How many videos have I posted on my Facebook page of her doing this? How many times have I made comments regarding this?
What is this?
Non-stop singing. She's been singing "5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" for at least 3 years now. Her latest obsession is "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns and Roses, but she always throws the monkeys in for good measure. But regardless of the song, it's a non-stop sound track for her life.
During the first week of school, K got off the bus and said, "Mommy, the boys asked me to make L stop singing and rocking." I told her I would talk to L and for K to just be strong. I talked with L.
Last week a kid, as he was getting on the bus, looked at me and asked if I could make her stop singing. I just stared at him as he got on the bus, my tongue tied. I talked with L again.
Today, a different kid looked straight at L and said, "Can you please not sing on the bus? It's annoying."
My first instinct is, naturally, to protect my kids, so I immediately snap at him, "No, she can't." I mean, I think I snapped. Maybe I didn't, but I know internally I did. He just kinda looked at me like I was joking, so I repeated, "She can't. She can't help it. I know it's annoying, but she can't control it." Thank goodness another mom was at the bus stop. She looked at him and said, "Some people's brains just work a little differently", which he seemed to understand. Even after saying that, though, I talked with L. Again.
The mom and I just met this year, at the bus stop, but she seems to "get it", as we talk a lot in the short amount of time that we wait for the bus. And I appreciate her for it. When it's your kid that's put on the spot, your brain kinda shuts down and your emotions take over. In my case, that means I can't express things the way I should be able to. I can't explain to the kids that L just isn't capable of controlling her volume or her vocals or her rocking. She helps me talk my way through it once the kids are safely on the bus. But that doesn't mean I stop thinking about it.
As I was driving to work, I was trying to think of ways to "fix" this. I could do headphones with an ipod, but she'd sing right over it. And probably lose it. I could make her stop riding the bus, but that's not convenient or fair. I could ask if she can ride the special needs bus, but that would put my kids at 2 different bus stops on different schedules. I could hold a neighborhood meeting explaining L to the other kids. I could ...
Who knows what I could do?
Oh, I got it! I will teach all of them the words to 5 Little Monkeys!!!!