It began this afternoon when i picked Max up at Company A. The young man who brought Max to me asked if i knew anything about
It seems Max had snapped the handle of his toothbrush in two, both yesterday and today, immediately after using it.
i had no clue
but i lost no time in finding out.
"Max, what's this about your breaking your toothbrush? Is it something about the toothbrush, or something different?"
Key 1 to Communicating with Max: Assume there IS an Answer
Key 2 to Communicating with Max: Make it Multiple Choice, never YES or NO.
Ah. This might be relatively quick and simple, as far as communicating with Max goes.
"Is it the handle, the brush part, the whole thing bad, or something else particular about the brush?"
Two Days, Two Broken Toothbrushes,
and Company A had no idea what was going on with Max. TWO QUESTIONS, and i knew exactly what was happening.
It was a cheap brush and the handle wasn't comfortable for my spoiled son.
Over the next few hours i offered him several opportunities to say he'd been given bad toothbrushes. He insisted the problem was only in the handles.
Realistically, those brushes were probably either
a) donated by a kind soul, trying to make the money go as far as possible, or
b) funded by state-provided operating expenses (your tax dollars at work, shaving every penny possible, and then some!)
The brushes were probably no worse than the standard model i grew up with. Just not the ergonomic handle to which Max's dentist* has accustomed him. *Whom he will no longer be seeing, because now he's on Medicaid only, no longer Dad's insurance. The familiar dentist doesn't do Medicaid.
"Max, i think you need
to write that you're sorry and replace the toothbrushes."
"Should we buy toothbrushes now or tomorrow?"
This is extremely significant. He ALWAYS wants to go straight home after a day at Company A.
"Okay, Max. Should we go to a drugstore or a dollar store?"
"Okay. (selection of two of stores offered)" He chose one.
"How many toothbrushes do you want to buy? Two, ten, twelve, twenty-four?"
Please note that all these answers were PROMPT. All i had to do was provide the words. That is a weakness of his. It's quite possible he would have said a hundred, but i wasn't going to go that high!
In the drugstore
we looked at several types. He didn't seem to care about the head of the brush. He definitely didn't care about the color. (That would be high on MY list!)
At one point i persuaded him to go with a less-expensive choice. We ended up with 22, not 24, brushes, cleaning out several racks.
Yeah, someone donating out of the kindness of their heart would well want to make their dollars go farther with less expensive, totally adequate brushes.
But Why?Our church has a food pantry. To help the flow of incoming items, desired donations are sorted to families alphabetically.
Something that's much in demand will be assigned to a letter/name with many families, while something they don't get as much call for will be assigned to a less-popular initial.
W is assigned toothbrushes & toothpaste.
i always give the toothpaste brand i like, interspersed with others i consider more popular. i've always seemed to have a knack for knowing what's in while preferring something totally "out."
Likewise the brushes.
The brushes Max chose are like we use at home and like i donate.
22 new, nice brushes, is not something we might be able to do on the spur of moment next time, but maybe we can work somethng out for fewer on a regular basis.
Shouldn't the people i donate to have decent things too?
Max is very passionate about this.We did a letter together. i suggested phrases; he agreed or disagreed, then copied the ones he agreed with onto his letter. He wants to deliver his package to Company A before we go to Miss Tutor tomorrow morning.
Not my idea of how to begin the day, but this is about him, right?