Thursday, September 29, 2005

To Tell or Not to Tell....

I am rewriting an old post from an old blogsite that I no longer maintain. Marti, in her blog, was discussing homework and how her ASD Child was distracted, thinking about Christmas and Santa. Her Child is a year older than SmallBoy and she, like me, has yet to touch that subject with him. I thought I would re-post this for opinions, ideas, and a general hoot. I have added a bit to it since my original post, so, if you've read it before, it's not necessarily the same thing.

To Tell or Not To Tell

When does a mother destroy, nay, CRUSH, the visions of the Bunny? Because you KNOW that once the Bunny has been ratted out, there goes Santa and the Tooth Fairy. My mother didn't have to carry the burden of disillusioning me, someone on the playground took the privilege of doing that. Mom just had to comfort her sobbing daughter and comfirm the worst...that yes, Virgina, there is NO SANTA. My youngest is 8 1/2 (now 9). SmallBoy also has some components of Asperger's Syndrome, which is somewhere on the autistic spectrum (SmallBoy, since, has been formally diagnosed). With any other child, this squashing of the Bunny would be a bit easier (not that destroying our children's fantasies was ever easy in the first place), but with SmallBoy, I'm worried about how he will take it. Compare this to telling a 3 year old who finally gets excited about the idea of Santa that you were really just making it up. Will this destroy his trust? Will he just say, "Oh," and move on with his life? Will he figure it out and link the Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Great Red One? Will that remove the behavioral manipulation that we, as parents, use on our children: "Santa's watching. You'd best behave or you'll only get coal in your stocking."

I know that I'm very overprotective of SmallBoy, many times to the dismay of Girl and LargeBoy. I could take the direct approach and just sit him down and tell him instead of letting it happen on the playground. But then, will he turn into the child who destroys it for some other schoolmate in his innocent need to share his newfound knowledge? Woe is me!

SmallBoy will be 9 before Christmas. My family thinks that it's time we sat him down and shwed him how to read between the lines of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." What tact does a mother take, though, when breaking this kind of news? It hurts to know I'm quite possibly going to cause him pain. I know, it's not going to be this big emotional scar that lasts for the rest of his live for which he will never forgive me, but seriously...Some would say that I should liken this experience to taking a child to the pediatrician for immunizations; it hurts, but it's for the child's well-being.

He has lost most of his baby teeth by now, at least the exciting ones. I guess that letting go of the tooth fairy wouldn't be too bad. We sort of let it slip about the Easter Bunny to gauge SmallBoy's reaction, but he was somewhere in SmallBoy Land and clearly didn't hear us. I suppose we could always dress PC in a rabbit costume and just change holidays for "I Saw Mommy Kissing...." Maybe by Christmas I will have figured out some way to break his tender little heart, but not yet. Suggestions?

Update: A note from PM somehow didn't get into the comments, but her suggestion was to watch "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". She mentioned that this particular issue is tackled very delicately within the show. I'm going to have to find mine, although I think it was sacrificed in the great VHS toss when we cleaned out the back porch. That's got to be floating around all over the place right now, with it being so close to Halloween. Thanks, PM for your suggestion!


PM said...

Don't laugh at this idea....Why don't you rent/purchase Charlie Brown's "The Great Pumpkin", especially with Halloween just around the corner. Remember,at the end Sally tells Linus there is no Great Pumpkin. But, Linus continues to believe in the magic of the Great Pumpkin. It does tackle the subject in a very interesting and innocent way. If small boy watches it enough, the beginnings of the concept may settle in with him and it may not be so shattering the first time someone blows the whistle. Then, when he hears it on the playground, it may not be as harsh. It's just a thought.

I also remind my boys of the magic of Santa and EB and the tooth fairy. I always tell them that they're magical because of the happiness they bring and that I absolutely believe in the magic. They humor me but it makes me feel better.

Good luck.

mommyguilt said...

Thanks doll. You're a peach. J & B SO are not humoring you, though. They see how much you love those things and that they make you happy. And when Mama's happy....