“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
"PINGAS! PINGAS! PINGAS!" "Oscar could you please stop yelling "Pingas" over and over!" "But why?" "Because it is really loud and I'm tired of hearing it." "But I'm just being me."..."I understand that..but..it is getting kind of tiring." .."Don't you want me to be me?" "Of course I want you to be you..Could you just do it a little quieter?" ..."But I'm just being me."...*sigh*..
Next to "pingas"- "I'm just being me" has rapidly grown to become one of Oscar's favorite catch phrases. At the same time, as equally as rapidly-it has become a problem. I blame myself for this. I thought that by giving Oscar these words-it would help him to explain himself and boost his confidence at the same time. When Oscar is anxious or needs to concentrate-he stims. Whether it be rocking in the classroom or flapping on the playground-his stimming serves a purpose. He needs to be able to do this and not be made to feel awkward about it. Sometimes, Oscar doesn't have the words he needs to express himself. So, if someone should approach him and ask him what he's doing..he can say "Just being me." It seems to be working for him. (although maybe a bit too much) I have used similar words in his defense when trying to explain a choice he is making(picture books over chapter books) or when his brother complains about him watching "baby shows" on t.v. "He is who he is Sam-let it go." The problem is that my wonderful and very smart boy has started to take these words to a whole new level. A level where any and everything he does is acceptable and requires no responsibility. I on the other hand...beg to differ. Au contraire mon frere! Yes-I gave him these words with the best of intentions...have you heard about the road to hell? Yup-it is paved with them.
"Oscar! Why did you just go and stick your feet (with new shoes) in that mud puddle?!" "I was just being me!"
"OSCAR! Why did you open up your sandwich and rub peanut butter ALL OVER THE TABLE?!"... "I was just being me."
Or my personal favorite...Oscar is well aware that Sam is extremely self conscious at the moment (puberty)..and like the little brother he is...he just loves pushing Sams buttons..."Mama! Could you please tell Oscar to leave me alone!!" "Why? What is he doing?.."He keeps trying to kiss me and hold my hand!" "Sam...I'm your boyfriend! hahahaha! Kiss me!" "No Oscar! Stop it!!" "Pretend we are going on a date! Kiss me! HAHAHAHAHA!" "Oscar!! Leave your brother alone! He doesn't like that."...."But I'm just being me!"
Yes, my smart boy has found a loophole...a loophole that I NEED to close! So...the other night when I was tucking him in I said.."Hey Oscar...you really need to start thinking about some of the "choices" you have been making lately. You know, it is one thing to "be yourself" and it is another to use that as an excuse for doing anything you want." "What do you mean?" "Well...you don't get to do anything that you want and excuse it by saying you are "just being me". It doesn't work that way. O.K.?".."O.K. Mama."..I'm not sure how much of that he got-but we'll keep working on it. Oh yes we will. As I got up to leave, he looked at me and said.."Hey Mama...." "Yeah?"....He smiled and slowly pointed his finger down..creeping towards his..well..(I'll leave that up to you) gave me a huge grin and said..."PINGAS!" and burst out laughing...I just shook my head (trying not to laugh-Hey! "pingas" does sound an awful lot like..*cough* you know!) and walked out of the room...He was after all really just being himself....