Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Waiting for Hank

I often try to explain to people that when I say Hank does things slowly-- like getting dressed, cleaning up, making his bed, anything, really-- I mean he moves veeeeeery slowly. Exceptionally so.

I get looks from people that say All kids do things slowly. They doubt that Hank is exceptional in this regard.

Let me give you an example. One measly example that is one of a thousand stories I could tell about this boy and his inability to do anything without it taking about ninety-nine times longer than anyone else.

Getting dressed for hockey, for any person, is a production. The steps for getting all the proper gear on are so specific and so lengthy and Joe and I used an email containing instructions on how to get dressed from a hockey playing friend the first few times Hank was expected on the ice with his team. Monday was a hockey night. We arrived twenty-five minutes before practice and I guided Hank to the proper locker room. Hank was already wearing his long underwear (most kids wear long underwear or PJs under their hockey equipment). After Hank got the first few pieces of equipment on by himself I realized I was going to have to help him get the rest on or he'd miss half his ice time. I might add, during the time it took Hank to get on his jock and one shin guard two other kids had entered the locker room and had not only gotten their jocks and shin guards on, but their socks, their elbow pads, practice jersey and breezers as well, and were moving onto their skates.

But that's not the story I was referring to. Hank, with my help, did make it onto the ice in time.

But after practice? Oh my goodness. I'm going to grant Hank one redemptive piece of information. I had to feed Caroline, so I wasn't in the locker room with him to assist him, even verbally. But still. Taking off hockey equipment is easier than putting it on, and Hank does know how to put it all on by himself. As I sat out in the lobby nursing Caroline I saw a few of Hank's teammates trickle out, hockey bags in hand, heading for the door. As time ticked by I saw a few more. And then more. And more. I chatted with a few parents. I finished nursing Caroline. By this time practice had been over for twenty minutes. TWENTY minutes. I saw Hank's coach and his family emerge from the locker room. They stood by the elevator. The coach's wife held Caroline as I went off to investigate what had happened to Hank. And as I opened the locker room door what sight greeted me? Hank sitting on a locker room bench surrounded by some of his cast off hockey equipment yet still half dressed.

My eyes bulged. I could do nothing but laugh at the absurdity of it all. I asked him, "Hank! How are you still not ready to leave yet?" And he said to be, very logically, "Mom, I'm supposed to get ready in the locker room to get to know my teammates. How can I do that if I'm paying attention to getting undressed?" I sighed. The idea that he might be able to talk and get undressed is one that Joe and I have tried to explain is possible, but Hank hasn't grasped the concept yet.

Instead, I walked to the elevator, retrieved Caroline and sat and waited. For ten more minutes.

1 comment:

Superdad said...

We managed to be the second to last out after last night's practice. Progress!