Sometimes I have a brain malfunction. It’s something about my wiring that makes me stop in the middle of a sentence and forget what I was saying. Perhaps I am a bit ADOS (AD Oh, Shiny!) That would be a typical diagnosis for someone who forgets her children’s names and leaves a pot of hard-boiled eggs on the stove so long that they explode. That’s normal, isn’t it?
What’s not normal is what my son has. There is no name for his condition. He also stops in the middle of a sentence, which most often is not an original thought. He then forgets the rest of it and makes something up; also not an original thought.
If I give him a choice of two things, he’s pretty flexible: “Whatever floats your ... cup of tea.”
If I catch him doing something out of character, he shrugs and says, “When in Rome ... let them eat cake.”
Wait a minute. They ate cake – or didn’t, as the case might be – in France, not Rome. However, if I brought this fact to his attention, he would say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t lead a horse to water.”
“Um ... OK, then.”
Sometimes, he goes into a “stick phase” and doesn’t come out of it for weeks. I would hear such nonsense as:
- “A bird in the hand is more than you can shake a stick at.
- “Do unto others, and carry a big stick.”
- “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t carry big sticks.”
I was never so glad as when the stick phase was over. It’s one thing for someone to butcher cliches all day and another to butcher cliches by themes for weeks!
The “chicken” theme only was a few days. There isn’t much you can do with a chicken, but it still drove me to the brink.
- “Absence makes your chickens hatch.”
- “Two wrongs don’t make a chicken.”
He branched out quickly to other barnyard animals. I love this young man in spite of his peculiarities. I told him that he was turning into a handsome young man. He replied, “Beauty is in the eye of a bull in a china shop.”
Wait. I think that makes me a bull or a china shop – not sure which. Obviously, I was between a rock and a mole hill.
It became maddening when I needed to have a serious conversation with him about his grades.
“Honey, you have to work harder if you intend to get into a decent college.”
“All work and no play is the mother of invention,” he answered blithely.
I ran that through my sloppy drive and decided that he was right! “Exactly!” I said, pleased.
“What? Huh?” He seemed confused. “Did I just make sense?”
“Yes, you did, but you don’t get credit for it if you didn’t know you were making sense.”
“Oh ... good ... because a penny saved gathers no moss.”
“Oh for Pete’s sake!”