The World Is Going to End


Speech is really only one part of Ian's problems. The other problem is that he constantly thinks that the world is going to end. 

Sometimes the world is going to end, because Ian is confronted with a weird smell, an out of tune singing voice (mine), or a bright light. Ian experiences the world at a much higher frequency than most people. Things that might be a little irritating to you or me are REALLY irritating to Ian. And he panics. Like a wild horse, he balks when he is confronted by these senses. He might hold his ears and scream. Or he might run really fast. Or he might go into fetal position and whimper.

Every fall, he has to make the transition from shorts to long pants and you would think that I was sticking him with a hot poker. He has to be calmed, stroked, bribed, threatened, and then maybe, just maybe, you'll get him to pull them up his legs. He'll cry, "I'M GOING TO DIE."

The world may also come to an end, because Ian likes things a certain way. Cereal must be eaten in a particular bowl every morning. If he eats Cheerios, he must have three strawberries to go in the bowl. The box must be positioned right in front of the bowl of cereal. If any of the rules are not followed, Ian will cry, "I'M GOING TO DIE." 

A movie must be turned off ONLY after all the credits have COMPLETELY finished rolling across the screen. Not before. 

Because he took his homework to speech therapy last week, he wanted to take it to speech therapy last night, too. We forgot his spelling book on the kitchen table, and he wanted me to drive back home and get it. 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back. Um, nope. Tears rolled down his face in the waiting room. Oh well. 

Actually, Ian has come a long way. The worst of the WORLD IS GOING TO END years was when he was five or six. Now, we can pretty much roll our eyes at him, call him "Johnny Drama," and tell him to get over it. Except for the pants. And the spelling homework. And the movie credits. 


27 thoughts on “The World Is Going to End

  1. Hey, you never know when there’s going to be some little extra scene just after a few credits. And with Pixar or other kids movies, the credits are often also animated and worth watching.

  2. Well, and perfectly MH’ish.
    My whole family insists on staying through the credits — I think for a combination of Ian’s & Amy’s reasons. They cite Amy’s (“there might be something really cool.”), but really, they just don’t think the movie has ended until the credits are over.
    This drives me batty, but I still sit there with them. I don’t go to many movies, though.

  3. My husband and I have decided that we’re just going to look at the credits on IMDB later anyway, so we take off. Time is money, alas, when you have babysitters.
    Speaking of which, how old do my kids have to be before we can leave them alone so we can go to a movie? I mean, without society frowning down upon us?

  4. The only movie that it is important that you watch the credits is Under Jakob’s Ladder with Jeffrey Steward. It won two awards at the Manhattan Film Festival this summer. Just make sure you stay for the credits and read about the historical consultants. So far there are not any other movies in existence where watching the credits is important.

  5. Time is money, alas, when you have babysitters.
    That’s why we really don’t go to movies except kiddie ones. I’m not paying somebody to get some free time and then doing something that doesn’t save/earn money or allow drinking.

  6. “Speaking of which, how old do my kids have to be before we can leave them alone so we can go to a movie? I mean, without society frowning down upon us?”
    I believe 13 for the older child is pretty safe, as far as accusations of negligence are concerned, particularly with a pretty big younger sibling. I would feel queasy leaving a toddler or preschooler in the care of a 13-year-old.

  7. Ha, our weird son when he was small would jump up and make us leave the theatre as soon as the credits came up. When watching a movie at home, he would turn it off when the words started. (He has become more relaxed about this as he’s gotten older; at about age 7, he would be frantic to leave the theatre as soon as the movie ended.)

  8. I started babysitting at 11, and my parents left my sister and me alone with my brother when he was 9, and we were 4 and 5. Again, this was the 80s, so social mores have changed. Once, my parents & their friends left a clump of 5 children, ages 3-10, at the Frankfurt zoo for a day, and then were outraged when they discovered we’d amused ourselves by fishing coins out of the wishing pool. It might be better in Europe still, but now a pack of young children alone in public setting would probably get the police called on you.
    Of course, option 2, which my parents also engaged in, was to take us to the movies regardless of age-appropriateness. You could call it mildly scarring, or just say that it made us precociously worldly.

  9. I don’t care about society’s frowns, but do care about the laws (which I haven’t figured out — some states actually have ages in their laws now).
    My 10.8 & 7.9 yo’s would be perfectly fine together for the length of a movie. We have in fact left them together for 2 hours when we went to a school event (for which our usually available grandparent babysitters weren’t available). Usually we don’t need to consider babysitters, because of the GPs.
    We leave the 10.8 yo at home alone (though the GP’s are nearly next door) for 1+ hours without concerns (usually while we’re driving the 7.9 yo somewhere for something).
    But, I think this issue depends a lot on the child. My almost 11 yo is perfectly fine by herself. Leaving her in charge of the other kid is a bit more problematic, but only because we have to get them to agree to a chain of command, that the 8 yo would object to unless there was no other alternative (and the GPs are always available!).
    In the olden days, my parents left me and traveled to a country with which the US has dubious diplomatic relations (on a non-US passport) when I was 14 (and in charge of my 11 & 13 yo sibs). Now, oddly enough, they’re wary of leaving me (40+ alone w/ my 11 & 8 yo :-).

  10. Superstitions, Youngest calls them. When she was four, there was only one way we could drive to and from a destination. Anything else doomed us to be lost forever. I slowly trained her out of that by driving every possible way to familiar destinations.
    Even these days, superstitions pop up like weeds and have to be laboriously eradicated. A superstition to have her head covered when outsite. A superstition about what colours can be worn and in what location on the body in what combination. A superstition about how we breath and look and walk. She left bloody streaks across tile and upholstery because she had a superstition to drag her toes that led her to wear the tip of the skin off!
    Worst of all, she can’t talk about a superstition directly. Thank goodness she can acknowledge that a behaviour stems from a superstition and she will agree that these are irrational behaviours. But to extinguish a problematic superstition takes sometimes months or weeks of work on our part as well as her own.
    So I understand his pain and frustration. I understand how hard it is for you, too.

  11. Anybody seen ET recently? There’s a long sequence where a kid who appears to be in maybe 5th grade is left home alone for the day when he comes down with a cold. And then there’s the “let’s send the kindergartner trick-or-treating alone with her 10-year-old brother” business. Things have totally changed since the 80s.
    My kids are basically 9 and 11, and we leave them home alone for an hour or 90 minutes, for things like meetings or times when one parent needs to leave for soccer practice before the other parent is home. I fantasize about the time when I can send the kids to their mindless movies without my own required attendance. (My recent forced watching of Kung Fu Panda 2 had me bitter for days.) I think we’re close.

  12. “The world is going to end” — It seems that intense anxiety is another common feature for kids like Ian (and the sensory defensiveness…)
    Here’s hoping that as his language continues to blossom, he can use self-talk to regulate his anxiety levels.

  13. “I think we’re close.”
    My sister sent her 11-year-old and a similarly aged chum to a movie together last year, so you might even be there.

  14. “Leaving her in charge of the other kid is a bit more problematic, but only because we have to get them to agree to a chain of command, that the 8 yo would object to unless there was no other alternative (and the GPs are always available!).”
    Being left alone in charge brings out the Captain Queeg in some older siblings. One of my cousins was the oldest of four, and things were pretty Lord of the Flies at home when his parents were gone and he was in charge (the youngest brother in the family was Piggy).

  15. “Being left alone in charge brings out the Captain Queeg in some older siblings”
    Not for this particular older sibling. But, there’s the inherent issue in allowing one child to play a supervisory role when you are usually telling them that they cannot play supervisor (for example, tell their little brother that they must wear a coat outside), when mother is sitting in the same room.
    I could leave my 5th grader home alone with a cold for a day. She would be fine. I probably wouldn’t, most obviously because I don’t have to. But I have not the slightest doubt in my mind that she’d be perfectly fine.
    Now my panic/phobias have to do with public spaces & physical risks (including cars). I definitely worry a little bit each time they have to cross a street or get in a car.

  16. My 10 yo went to a movie with another 10 yo and was dropped off by the other kids’ mom at the theater. I probably wouldn’t have done it, but I thought it was fine, and now I’m more likely to think its OK (well, and I’d be OK reciprocating, though I’d probably hang out nearby). But, other parents’ opinions will vary hugely on this one — I can imagine some parents in my kids’ social circle seeing that as a banning offense.

  17. We also face the fall transition to pants and the summer transition to shorts issue. My son is 10 and has pretty slight sensory issues, but still, well, the pants are a “world is ending” issue for him. He refuses to wear jeans. He pretty much lives in nylon basketball pants and sweats. I bought him a pair of khakis and asked him to try them on yesterday. He acted like I was prodding him with a hot poker. He particularly hates those adjustable tabs. I like these recent posts that lend insight into the daily reality with your kids. It helps me feel not so alone.

  18. Our daughter is like Mazie’s son (at least from the description), with some sort of sensory issues. The issues have mostly faded (or she has adapted, or maybe we have adapted) as she has gotten older. We used to have a lot of clothing issues. In particular, she would scream if you tried to make her wear anything with buttons.
    Obviously, we haven’t had anything like the issues Laura describes, for which I give thanks every day. One reason I read this site is to remember to remain thankful.

  19. “Not for this particular older sibling.”
    I’d like to think I wasn’t either, but my younger siblings may have different memories of the same events.

  20. Mason really like to know what is going to happen- he likes the schedule on the board, likes to know what’s for dinner at 8:00 a.m. This stuff gets tiring. I often lose my patience at the million little things that can set him off. But like you I try to remember that he is better than he used to be and some of the quirks are easy to honor and make him feel in control.

  21. Young Sherlock Holmes is the other movie where you need to stay for the credits.
    D is 10 1/2 and yesterday we left him at the OWL class at the church while we dealt with dropping a car off to be repaired. I told him that we might be a little late, and he should just sit and read in the front entry area (where there are seats). I then proceeded to lock my keys in the car, so we were a lot later than planned.
    Apparently he made it about 45 minutes before totally freaking out that we had forgotten him and finding an adult. They couldn’t find the registration card w/ my cell phone number and D said he didn’t know it. We got there about 15 minutes later, and they had NOT called CPS on us, but did ask me to give them my contact info for future reference.
    I drilled him on my cell phone number on the way home — somewhat to my surprise, he didn’t use this as an argument for why he needs his own phone.
    I just looked up our county’s official guidelines:
    They say an 8-10 year old can be left alone for up to 1 1/2 hours, with a safety plan and knowing how to reach an adult.

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