I guess there really is no way to define the word "stranger". It is a known, or actually I guess, unknown, entity to all of us. If I tell you not to talk to strangers, you know what I am talking about. If I tell the kids at my preschool not to talk to strangers, we could have a chat about what that means, and while there may be slip ups, and reminders would be necessary....we could form a consensus as to who a stranger is.......tonight I learned, finally and exhaustedly, that Matthew lacks, or at least seems to lack, the ability to come to this consensus.
To matthew everyone is friend- that I already knew. However, categorizing people is a true mystery to him. He is talking to everyone that walks, drives, rollerskates, skateboards, or moves by our house in some other fashion. And I don't mean he is just saying hi, he is endearing each of them with some sort of personalized conversation:
"your baby is so cute"
"how old is your dog"
"does your motorcycle go fast"
"what road do you live on"
So given 3.5 seconds, as far as he is concerned he KNOWS them and therefore they are not strangers.
Here is his checklist:
If they know my name they can't be a stranger- they know his name, he tells them as he stops them to chat
If they live in his neighborhood they can't be a stranger-they must live in his neighborhood- duh, he is talking to them outside the house ( yes, I got this Duh complete with eye roll for my stupidity)
If they have a child, or a pet, they can't be a mean stranger- Duh, they have a child or a pet- what stranger do you know that would be allowed to watch a child or a pet?
So now I dare you....you define stranger for me......better yet, define it for him...... He even caught me by saying sometimes I talk to people I don't know- while this is not a habit of mine, I am a rather forgetful adult, and in my job I come in contact with LOTS of people. Often someone will stop me and chat and he will be pestering--what's their name, what's their name, what's their name, till I nearly kill him because I don't know their name. Then he tried to tell me if I don't know their name they must be a stranger.....but OY they are not a stranger.......UGH....I am just forgetful!
The saddest part of all of this is that Jacob is now copying a lot of this behavior from Matthew. The person they stopped today had a bike trailer and in the trailer was what I thought was a baby because Jacob kept telling me, or rather asking me why "it" couldnt walk....
I kept saying it was a baby, babies don't walk. Finally he got fed up with me and said, "It not walk, it leg broke"....to which I wanted to respond...if you knew it couldn't walk cause it had a broken leg, why have we been having this nonsensical conversation and wasted the last 20 minutes of my life...but instead I had to laugh cause of course no one would put a BABY in a bike trailer......DUH
- I am a single mom of three amazing boys! All three of my sons entered my family through adoption. All three of my boys have developmental disabilities. My oldest son, Matthew has been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. David, my middle son, has a genetic condition, he has a duplication on his 15th chromosome which leads to autism like symptoms, seizures and learning challenges. My youngest son, Jacob has learning disabilities. Each of my children bring unique challengs to our family and also bring their own personality and joys to our everyday life!