Due to a lack of Theory of Mind, Liam sometimes struggles to know when people are happy versus upset – both can be accompanied by an open mouth. Excited versus angry are troublesome, because both come with being “loud.”
One day, we were waiting outside of a restaurant to be seated. Liam was running back and forth down the long, outdoor sidewalk to entertain himself.
I pulled my leg up to lean against the wall and was immediately gripped by a leg cramp in the back of my upper thigh. I was whimpering in pain as I tried to navigate away from the wall and into different positions that might provide some relief.
Kieran, an almost too empathetic child, grew wide-eyed: “Are you ok, Mommy?”
“I’m fine, kiddo. Ow! I’ll be okay.”
“I love you, Mommy!”
Gasping, “I love you too, buddy!”
Meanwhile, Liam kept running back and forth along the pavement. On one trip down, he actually knocked into me, “Love you, Mom!” I lost my balance and stepped down on the leg wit the cramp.
Whimpering, “I love you too, Liam. Can you watch out? You knocked into me and that hurt.”
“You’re hurt? What happened? You’re not smiling?”
“I’m okay. Just be careful not to bump me, yes?”
“Sure! Zoom!” And off he went back up the pavement running.