2016AtoZChallenge

“Don’t want.”

Darren’s mother explained. “‘Don’t want’ means he doesn’t want to talk about school.”

Did the little boy not feel proud to have started at big school? Did he experience difficulties at school? Did I make a huge mistake by bringing up the topic?

Determined to make amends, I searched for a topic the boy would want to discuss.

“Do you like to play with toys?”

Dark eyes lit up.

“Do you have a special toy?”

“Dinosaur,” Darren answered without hesitation.

“Does the dinosaur do something?”

“Dinosaur big.” Daren raised his hand and looked up at it, smiling. “Dinosaur walk.”

“Does the dinosaur talk?”

“Don’t want.”

“Darren didn’t like the talking,” Darren’s mother explained, “so we turned it off.”

Disconcerted, I wondered what sort of child wouldn’t like a talking toy. “Do your friends like the dinosaur?”

“Don’t want.”

Darren’s mother shook her head. Did he not want to talk about his friends or did he not have any? Dressed in my psychologist’s hat, I began to suspect the latter. Dreading another ‘Don’t want,’ however, I preferred not to ask. Disparate thoughts led me to the common denominator. Difference. Difference caused unusual likes and dislikes. Difference caused other children to spurn him. Difference caused problems at school leading to unhappiness.

Donning my little girl’s hat, I warmed to this child.

 
WonderCon 2012 - Wash's toy dinosaurs from Firefly

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