Monday, December 8, 2008

Do You Know Geri?

The other day I was in the car with my younger daughter, I'll call her Little Bit, and we had a conversation that went something like this.

She says, "Hey mom, do you know Geri?"

I thought for a moment, quickly scanning my memory to see if I know a Geri.

"No. I don't think I know Geri."

"Well, he was married." She says.

"He was?"

"Yes, and then his wife left and she had a baby." She says. "And then she sent the baby to live with Geri."

My immediate thought was, who the heck is Geri and why don't I know him, if she knows so much about him. I started to feel that little flush of concern. I mean, come on. My 8 year old is talking about some guy... and I have no idea who he is or how she knows him.

"How do you know Geri? From school?" I said.

"No mom." She laughs. "You know.. Jerry, from Tom and Jerry."

And then the lightbulb brightens. Earlier in the day she had watched Tom and Jerry on the cartoon network. Now, my first response is the desire to debate with her. Explain that Jerry is a mouse and he wasn't married, etc. But instead, I said, "Oh, I didn't know that."

She smiled and told me again that Jerry had been married and his wife left and then had a baby. Because, in Little Bit's world, that's the way it is. She has Asperger's and the simplest explanation we get is... she sees the world differently than the average person. She doesn't think to say, "You know Jerry, from Tom & Jerry?" first. In her mind, she knows exactly who she is talking about and kind of forgets that others aren't privy to that information.

So, even though I want to tell her that Jerry probably wasn't married and that Jerry probably didn't have kids in the majority of the episodes, I don't. I know that if I do, she will end up crying and I'll end up completely frustrated. I never know what kind of conversation to expect with my Little Bit.