Monday, February 21, 2011


Joseph has discovered teasing.

More accuratly, he has discovered that he can accuse people of teasing him.  If I had a dollar for every time he has screamed at us "You're teasing me!" in the last week I could afford to take the luxury cruise I need to take in order to recover from, um, this last week.

He yells at us that we're teasing him if we say anything about him.  Anything.  Even good things.  When I mentioned to Jesse the other day what a good job Joseph had done on his spelling test Joseph shreiked from the living room "You're teasing me!  You're saying I'm not good at math and that's teasing!"  When I tried explaining to him how I was not teasing him he accused me of teasing him by saying he didn't know what teasing was.

We even get accused of teasing when we're not talking about him.  Yesterday at dinner Elle was saying that if you went outside without a hat on then you might get snow on your hair.  "You're teasing me!" Joseph yelled.  "You're saying that because sometimes I don't wear a hat and I get snow on my head and that's teasing!"

When I told him a story about a time I was a kid and I fell off my bike?  Teasing.

When I asked him if he wanted peanut butter on his toast?  Teasing.

When I reminded him to put his school book away in his backpack?  Teasing.

When I said I thought a preview for a new movie looked dumb?  Teasing.

When I said the next person to accuse someone of teasing was going to have to sleep in the garage?  Teasing. Teasing! TEASING!

Oddly enough we're still able to do our "Rudest Family Ever" routine* without being accused of teasing.

I'm not sure if this is a case of him genuinely misreading what's really going on or if it's him being a little manipulative and trying to get a reaction out of us.  Either way it's driving me bonkers and I don't know how to get it to stop.  I suspect that like many things Joseph related it will just have to run it's course.  For whatever reason he needs to try this out and see how it feels.

I'm trying to be sensitive to the fact that really doesn't always get social cues and interactions.  It's possible that he really does think we're teasing him when we talk to him or about him... or dare to take a breath in the same room as him.  It's possible that he's sensitive about something else and he needs to get that out and screeching at us about teasing is a easy way for him to release some tension.  It's also possible that he's just being kind of a butt right now.

Whatever the case we're all kind of walking on eggshells right now.  No one wants to be the next one to incur the wrath of Joseph. 


*I taught this to the kids and it goes like this:
Person 1: That movie looks funny! (This can be substituted with any number of things looking any number of ways.  Cheese looking moldy, water looking dirty, car looking fancy, whatever.)
Person 2: You look funny!
Person 1: Your face looks funny!
Person 2: Your butt looks funny!
We are sophisticated and elegant.

Two years ago today my face collapsed.
Three years ago today Elle wanted malk.


ian said...

When my son misuses a word to the point it drives me insane, I make him write the definition of that word a few times. Even if he still doesn't get it, he stops because he doesn't want to write definitions. Oh, he hates it when I say, "That's it, go get the dictionary."

Anonymous said...

OHHH... I like Ian's solution. Of course with Joseph, he'll have to use the keyboard. *(or is that teasing,too??) Patience my children, this too shall pass!

Love to all of you... Grandma Judy

Anonymous said...

Jen, I have another possibility. There are a lot of changes in progress at your house right now. Maybe he is picking up on that somewhat chaotic energy and is releasing the tension (anxiety) he feels in this way. Maybe the best thing is to reassure him that he is loved and his world is fine and that he is safe. Just a thought. Love to all of you... Grandm Judy

Stimey said...

"When I said the next person to accuse someone of teasing was going to have to sleep in the garage? Teasing. Teasing! TEASING!"

I'm kind of with him on that one.

I blame the teachers at school with their "respect" lessons and their "anti bullying" messages. Jerks.