The big pop bottle

I need your help! With a silly problem. It is not a serious problem, just one of those little embarassing ones that perhaps should not embarrass, because it is kind of funny. Here is the story:

Whenever I take N to the store, he finds the pop aisle and grabs a big pop bottle. Usually root beer, or Coke. He opens it and starts slugging. He carries it around with him in the store, his two hands and lips combining to keep it flowing. On the one hand, it keep him from whooping and shrieking and verbally attracting unwanted attention. It keeps him from snagging desireables from the shelves. However it does not quite pass for socially acceptable.

It happens all the time at the store. And I just don’t know how to explain it to him. How do I explain that we drink from the little bottles; but NOT the big ones? It just does not make sense. Clearly the big one is the one to have: bigger is better! Why NOT drink from the big bottle???

Almost equally inexplicable is the problem of “first pay money, then drink” It is very hard to explain to an autisic kid that the bottle of pop cannot be consumed until after we pass through the aisle with the chocolate bars and magazines. Then mommy must stick a green card in a machine ( that means “pay money”) and only then is it acceptable to drink it. What does the aisle, and the green card have to do with drinking pop?

We get those inquisitive and unwanted stares as he walks around the store, with his large bottle of pop. His habit of rocking his head back and forth with the bottle to his mouth, to create extra fizz, does not help. Scowls directed at me from other adult shoppers are not uncommon. Even very young children will stare at him, with that unspoken question on their faces – why is he doing that?.

Yes there is GUILT: pop is not good for you. What kind of mom am I? Here is my school aged son, copiously drinking it in large quantity before we have paid. Together we are a walking bad example to all.

Followers – if you have any suggestions to help me with this sticky and fizzy problem, I would be much obliged!!


About lifewithautistickid

I am a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), with an MBA and BA. I have been fortunate to have had an extraordinary life with an autistic kid. I have learned so much from him about people and life in general. I want to make a difference by sharing my extraordinary experiences. Raising a son with severe autism and developmental disability has made me realize how we who are "normal" do not understand "disability". Instead of trying to "fix" people like my son by burying them in the community, I would like to see a society that respects and honors them for who they are. The potential is endless, in a world that can celebrate with sincerity, the dignity of the individual. Love and blessings to people of all "disability" . That includes you and me!
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10 Responses to The big pop bottle

  1. Mae Scatliff says:

    Is there any possibility of taking a bottle of juice with you, a special bottle maybe with his name on it, that is meant to be consumed in the supermarket only?

    Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2013 16:06:49 +0000 To:

    • I actually make my own pop, so I tried bringing a bottle of my home-made with us. Although is not as sweet as the typical store-bought varieties, he will drink it. And so far so good. He still wants to grab a small bottle from the fridge near the checkout but has not made his usual detour down the pop aisle.

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    • Many thanks for reading my blog – more posts to come. I do hope that my writing will help other families in the same situation as mine, that do not have the ability to express their issues as I have been fortunate to do.

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  5. What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious know-how regarding unpredicted feelings.

    • Hi I don’t think I understand exactly your comment. I am glad that my post is not ambiguous. Not sure about the know-how. I learn by the seat of my pants, so to speak, and it does not feel very precious. As for the feelings – that would be best described as a mix of humility, and disgust. I am often embarassed by the judgement, I am equally disgusted that it happens, that people are so narrow and unenlightened. Especially older adults who ought to have a perspective available to them, other than their own.

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