At one point after getting Jackson’s diagnosis I remember seeing a mother at the grocery story refusing to buy her son one of those matchbox cars. After hearing “no” from his mom, despite the arguing and bargaining the kid put forth, he resorted to an all out screaming fit. I remember thinking “Well at least I won’t have to deal with that with Jackson!” I laughed because, at the time, I didn’t envision Jackson reaching the “normal” unwanted milestones most kids do. As my luck would have it, Jackson has reached many of those unwanted milestones. Throwing fits? Yup, he does those good. Selective listening? Oh yeah, I know the kid knows things, like “Stop”, but pretends not to. As his teacher once said “Jackson is a master manipulator”. Objecting when he doesn’t get his way? Jackson gives new meaning to the phrase “signing at the top of my lungs” when he objects. It seems kind of cruel that he reaches all these typical, unwanted milestones. Can’t this Mom catch a break?
Lately Jackson has reached a milestone that I am not particularly fond of. Get ready, this milestone isn’t one a lot of people like to discuss. The milestone? Masturbation. Yes, the dreaded awareness of the pleasure stemming from his penis. Jackson has always been aware of his penis, it has been one of his favorite toys. His hand is always at the ready when I take his diaper off. But over the past few weeks we have had days of constant, and I mean constant, masturbation. To the point where he will cry. The scissoring of the legs, the grunting, the pushing against the buckle in his car seat. I can’t take the kid anywhere! My idea of fun is definitely not walking around Costco while my kid is moaning and grasping his package. As I write this I am sitting on the floor next to Jackson who is scissoring his legs like he’s doing a Jane Fonda workout. His face is red, he’s hot and clammy, and he is making all kinds of unpleasant sounds. About every 5 minutes I yell “KNOCK IT OFF JACKSON!” or “GIVE IT A REST KID!” Jackson ignores me and continues on with it. Ugh! The kid is seriously driving me insane. I know this is par for the course, especially for a lot of special needs kiddos. But this Mama wants to drive off the course onto a new, no masturbating allowed one. Since that doesn’t look like it is an option, I am stuck with a kid whose pleasure seeking behavior is consuming our day. There isn’t much I can do to stop him so I will just sit on the floor and keep repeating a quote to myself from one of my favorite books, The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf: “His mother saw that he was not lonesome, and because she was an understanding mother, even though she was a cow, she let him just sit there and be happy.”