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You Will Be A Winner Today. Pick A Fight With A Four-year-old.

Raising a special needs child is as wonderful and frustrating as raising any other child (I would imagine), but sometimes in different, unique ways. Our little man has Sensory Integration Dysfunction to deal with, among other issues. One of the features of which is that he’s still compelled to put any and everything in his mouth, as an infant does, for the tactile sensation. Now that he’s no longer an infant, however, my strategies have had to evolve. Instead of just snatching objects away from him, or pulling them out of his mouth, I first ask him to cease and desist. Then try to offer an explanation regarding why it’s a bad idea to have certain objects in his mouth (aside from their inherent filthiness, after he’s retrieved them from various floors). But it’s especially hard to cope with this behavior while I’m driving the car, with him out of reach behind me. Yesterday afternoon I happened to look back while we were idling at a stop light. He had a penny in his mouth. Our ensuing conversation was as follows:

Me: “Honey, please take that penny out of your mouth.”
LM: “No.”
Me: “Yes. It’s dirty, and dangerous.”
LM: “No it’s not.”
Me: “Yes, yes it is.”
LM: “No it’s not.”

*pause while counting to ten and taking deep breaths*

Me: “Honey, you could choke on it…and die.”


LM: “You crazy mom.”
Me: *sighing, while thinking that’s beside the point*

LM: “I not going to die.”

Eventually he handed over the money, all three pennies and a dime, with great reluctance. Who knows where he’d picked it up. Perhaps on the floor at the hardware store. Yeee-uck.