Adventures in missing the point

"Adventures in Missing the Point" is actually the title of a book by Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo, subtitled: "How the Cultured-controlled Church Neutered the Gospel". But when I saw that title, I wish I had thought of it first. Adventures In Missing the Point would have been a great title for this blog.

I am often perplexed or annoyed by the way Orangeboy can be so smart and insightful at times, and then be so clueless about so many things that seem obvious to almost everyone else. It seems almost daily that we have exchanges or conversations where he completely misses the main point, and I end up having to tell him IN-A-FIRM-AND-MEASURED-TONE what the point is.

For example, instead of simply walking, he often hops and jumps around as an alternative mode of locomotion. One recent weekend morning he was jumping about upstairs and making lots of bumping sounds that were beginning to irritate me while I was downstairs. As he came hopping down the stairs, only to turn and hop back up again (thump! thump! thump! thump!...), I said,
"It's a good thing you AREN'T a big, heavy kid or we would have cracked floors and loose joists."

Orangeboy's response: "Well, that might be good for you, but what about for the sake of my health?"

Mom's follow-up comment: "THE POINT IS... STOP JUMPING IN THE HOUSE!"

Orangeboy: "Oh."

I must point out that it WAS rather insightful of him to realize that his light weight is a health issue. But to seemingly miss completely that I was expressing my displeasure in his jumping around, not actually wishing him to stay too skinny, seems oddly obtuse.

He also seems to be missing the point when I tell him to clean his room and he picks up everything and throws it under his drawing table. This is a simple table on four legs with no sides or skirt hiding what's underneath, and it's not even in a corner. Clearly, when I walk in his room to check on his cleaning progress, I will immediately see the pile of stuff under the table. But when I say to him, "That is not where that stuff goes, clean it up and put everything where it belongs", he makes this frustrated "UH!" sound as if he either can't believe I'm being so picky or he can't believe I saw through his ruse.
He DOES know where everything belongs because of the countless times I helped him clean up and organize his stuff and because of all the times I've told him, "put that there, and that here, and those in there..""

Of course, he misses the point of looking at, or at least toward, the person he is talking to so that they can be sure he is actually talking to THEM. He misses the point of asking his brother or sister NICELY to do something before he stomps in and starts yelling demands. He totally misses my point when I tell him that he looks guilty when he immediately stops talking and stops everything to squint at me as soon as I walk into a room. He misses the point of most fictional stories. He misses the point of having pets; and in a similar vein, he doesn't understand why we don't just kill the two chickens we've raised from biddies and eat them.

I could go on and on... I've tried to get him to understand that if he can't say something nice, he doesn't have to say anything; particularly if he's not asked. But he doesn't get it. Like at dinnertime- if he can't say, "This is great, Mom!", then he shouldn't say anything. Instead, he thinks that saying, "Well, at least it's not burned" is saying something nice.


  1. Apple and I are also point-missers, too. I wish I could tell you how to make this easier, but I have no idea.

  2. Where are you going with this?

    (I keed, I keed.)


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