Unless you live with a toddler, you do not realize just how confusing our English language can be. For example, a pair of socks does not refer to the fruit he refuses to eat. That is called a pear. Can’t you hear the difference? Maybe if I move over here? Sea what I did? Oh, I mean “see” what I did? There are hundreds of these words. We even have a fancy name for them, homophones.
But unless you have a child with autism, you do not realize that number is actually in the thousands.
They are pointed out to you long after the toddler years have passed.
My son will “catch” me in a homophone tongue twister at least once a week. Just yesterday, I went into the laundry room to wash a load of clothes. We have to walk through our garage to get there. Winter air on cement floors is quite cold, so I have to put on shoes…as if I am going out to the river to pound these clothes on the rocks. I did not realize my teenage son, Garrett, had followed me out there.
Garrett was born with Smith-Magenis Syndrome and many of his issues are similar to people with autism. He takes everything quite literally. He coughed and I just about jumped out of my skin. “Garrett!” I yelled at him.
“What have I told you about coming out to the laundry room?”
“Ummm. Wash my hands?”
That is usually the correct answer to most questions I ask him. “No! Get your shoes on! It’s cold.” He just looked at me. “Garrett. You will catch a cold. Do not come out here in your bare feet!”
He started laughing.
“I said go get your shoes on.”
“Silly Mom!” Garrett laughed again. He held onto the wall and lifted up his right foot.
“I have boy feet! Not bear feet!”
Obviously, I was mistaken.
Like I said, it happens at least once a week.
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