Well, maybe two lessons learned... The first lesson I learned is to never, ever ask Glen to get Dayton a hair cut. NEVER. Take a look at his idea of a hair cut...
Yup, he shaved my baby's head BALD!!! Seriously! When am I going to learn that if I want something done right to just do it myself?! Ugh. Oh well, at least the hair will grow back. But perhaps when you hear about my second and main lesson learned, you may think that I should keep Dayton's head bald.
For those of you that have met my boy, you know he's tall and THIN. I don't mean thin the way all women strive to be, I mean thin as in bony. My babe is a wiry lil'man, and I don't think he has an ounce of fat on his body. It's skin, bone and muscle. He doesn't even have baby fat around his face, and he's only nine years old. Dayton is self conscious of his body, and even in summer prefers to wear jeans instead of shorts. He doesn't like his legs exposed for people to see as they are long and bony. Dayton always wears a shirt in the summer, not only is it a rule for him to wear clothes, but he's self conscious of his visible rib cage and spine. Swimming in the pool is a nightmare at times, as he has no choice but to go shirtless and in swimming shorts. Thank goodness he loves swimming so much that he doesn't care about his image. Dayton is also very fair skinned, so this new hair style makes him almost seem sick.
I had to go grocery shopping with Dayton yesterday (made sure he wore a baseball cap to cover the bald head), and made the mistake of going to Super Store. I didn't bother with a shopping cart, as I was just supposed to grab a new Bayblade for Dayton, milk, skinny lattes for my tassimo coffee machine (yum!!!), and some butter. Should have taken me about ten minutes... Wrong! It's been a while since I've taken Dayton shopping with me and I forgot it takes three times longer to shop when he's with me. By the time I got everything and was standing at the cashier's line up, I vowed to never again, no matter how short I 'figured' the shopping trip would take, to attempt shopping without the shopping cart. My arms hurt, my legs hurt, my kidney was ready to rupture out of my body and slap me across the face, and my jaw was clenched so hard, my face hurt. As we're standing in the loooooong line up, Dayton begins to be bored. He's squirming, he's laughing at his own jokes, making faces and repeating a line from the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," where Sheldon is saying "mamma smokes in the car, Jesus is OK with it, but don't tell dad." Dayton repeats this line over and over and over. Once bored of this quote, he starts parroting a quote from Fairly Odd Parents: "What's the worst that can happen? You're grounded!" Dayton's laughing and clapping his hands and doing a little jig beside me. Another parroted joke comes up: "What do you call a guy with no arms and legs in front of a fire place? Burney."
There are two women that look like they're friends, standing a couple of people ahead of us in the line up. They keep glaring back at Dayton, whispering to each other and shaking their heads in disapproval. Aha! Mommy Radar has picked up on two Grocery Store Snipers, twelve o'clock, straight ahead. My head whips around to face the snipers, and they face me. Eye contact. I' about to whip out my grenade launcher when I remember Dayton's hair cut and my close friend's comment on it: "He looks like a cancer patient." I squint my eyes at the snipers and brush my hand against Dayton's baseball cap. I knock it to the floor...
I turn my attention to Dayton. "Would you like to see how your cap looks on mommy? I bet I would look pretty funny!!! I doubt it would fit my big head!" Oooohhh... A challenge... Dayton loves a good joke and a challenge. I bend at what used to be a waste and lower my head to his face. "I dare you Dayton." Dayton gets all serious and puts the cap on my head. I stand tall, and he laughs at me. The snipers look like they'd like to aim and take fire at me, but look down at Dayton... "Awwwwww... are you mommy's big helper?" One of them says... I kid you not. The snipers dropped their weapons and practically cuddled my babe. Are you serious?!
So, the moral of this story my friends, is that if your child 'looks disabled,' people make exceptions for their behavior. If the child has an invisible disability like autism, ADHD, ADD, global delays, FAS, fragile X, etc.., people perceive your child as a hooligan. "He's just a bad kid." In their minds, they're thinking that as a parent, we're not disciplining our children. I know Dayton's school's staff has said to me many times... "he needs some discipline." And these are people that are supposed to know about autism.
Dayton LOVES his new look. "I look just like daddy!!!" He's in no hurry to grow out his hair. I'm wondering if I should let him enjoy his new look for at least the summer, grow it out for school picture day, then shave it off again? It seems people are much more accommodating... I'll let you know what I decide.
In the mean time, like my dad always says, consider yourselves hugged!