Who Says Video Games Aren’t Educational?

, , , , , | Related | April 1, 2020

I am a fifteen-year-old with autism so my mind works differently from others. I’m absolutely rubbish at maths and spend more time playing video games, reading, and watching “Harry Potter” and anime than I do studying or doing homework.

Me: “Last night, I got the Master Sword in Zelda!”

Mum: “Does the Master Sword help you with maths?”

Me: “Well… you need at least thirteen hearts to get the Master Sword without dying. You need four Spirit Orbs to get one Heart Container. You get one Spirit Orb per Shrine. Four times thirteen is fifty-two. I would need fifty-two Shrines to get the Master Sword.”

Later, I relay this story to one of my longest and closest friends who also has autism.

Friend: “I will never get your mind.”

Me: “One, I don’t think they were expecting that. Two, I didn’t even factor in the Heart Containers I got from Divine Beast Vah Ruta, Divine Beast Vah Naboris, and Divine Beast Vah Medoh. Zelda is educational for me.”

Friend: “I can see.”

Heartwarming And Brainmelting

, , , , | Related | March 31, 2020

This happens on my younger brother’s tenth birthday. My parents gather my entire family into the dining room after all of the party guests leave and sit seriously on the table.

Dad: “So, [Younger Brother], you’re ten now, so your mother and I have something important to tell you.”

Younger Brother: “What is it? Am I changing school?”

Mom: “No. You’re not actually our child. You’re adopted.”

Younger Brother & Me: “WHAT?!”

Everyone looks at me.

Me: “Oh, right. Sorry. I genuinely forgot that you were adopted.”

Older Brother: “Come on! You’re the one that wanted us to adopt [Younger Brother]. H***, you’re the one that named him!”

Me: “Like I said, I forgot. It’s been a decade.”

Younger Brother: *Teary-eyed* “So, it’s true, I’m not Mommy and Daddy’s child?”

Me: “Yeah. Sorry, [Younger Brother]. Mommy never gave birth to you, unlike me and [Older Brother]. But that doesn’t mean that she’s still not your mother.”

Everyone in room stares at me again

Older Brother: “[My Name], I’m adopted, as well. Remember?”

Younger Brother: “Yeah, even I know that.”

Me: *Sputtering* “Well, it’s been almost two decades by now!”

Younger Brother: *To me* “Are you adopted, as well?”

Me: “No. This time I’m absolutely certain.”

Mom: *Teasingly* “Yeah… about that…”

Me: *Annoyed tone* “Mommy!”

Mom: *Pouts* “Yeah. You’re mine. And the whole reason why I cannot have any more children. That’s why we adopted your brothers.”

Yeah. That was genuinely my fault. My birth was so traumatic that it rendered my mother infertile. Regardless, I still have two amazing brothers whom I love with all my heart. This wasn’t the first time I’d had to be reminded that my brothers aren’t biological and it wasn’t the last time, either. Regardless, I don’t care and neither do they. We’re family through and through. For now and forever.

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Bye-Bye, Boo-Boo

, , , , | Related | March 30, 2020

I’m video-chatting with my sister and almost-three-year-old nephew while he’s in the bath. Obviously, there’s been lots of fun and too much splashing, but he quiets down for a minute and then says:

Nephew: *Looking at his finger* “Mama, can’t find boo-boo.”

Sister: “You can’t find your boo-boo?”

Nephew: “No.”

He starts looking around in the tub.

Sister: “What are you doing?”

Nephew: “Looking for boo-boo!”

Sister: “You’re looking for your boo-boo in the water?”

My sister and I are already laughing, but since she’s sitting there with him she has to keep it together. I, on the other hand, do not!

Nephew: “Yeah! Swim away!”

Sister: “Your boo-boo is swimming away?”

Nephew: “On the wall!”

Sister: “It’s on the wall now?”

Nephew: “Yeah!”

Sister: “Well, what is it doing on the wall?”

Nephew: “Alligator got!” 

Sister: “Oh, an alligator ate your boo-boo? That’s too bad.”

I’m basically dying of laughter. My nephew is suddenly sad and looking at his finger again.

Nephew: “Yeah…”

Sister: “Buddy, don’t worry. It’s actually better to not have a boo-boo, okay?”

My nephew thinks for a second.

Nephew: “Okay.”

Of course, he then immediately went back to playing! Family is fun, even from far away.

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Look Past-a Your Surroundings To The Wide World Of Noodles!

, , , , , | Related | March 30, 2020

(In this moment of nationwide quarantine in Italy, my dad has discovered the joys of online ordering products and getting them delivered to your house. After a long slog to get him to figure out how to use his dusty old work email for the purpose, he has started to go online and order various things from [Supermarket Chain]. I go to do something else… until he calls me back again several minutes later.)

Dad: “[My Name], come over here. I need you to order something for me; can you do it?”

Me: “Yes, I can. What is it?”

(He hands me his tablet, and I see two things: he has gone on [Big Company]’s site, and there are several pictures of pasta packages on it.)

Me: “Uh, Dad? Why are you ordering pasta on [Big Company]? They can’t have run out of pasta on [Supermarket Chain], could they?”

Dad: *annoyed* “No, look at what I’m showing you.”

(I take a better look at the packages and notice that they are all of a specific pasta format, called “castellane”… and that the labels are Indonesian.)

Me: *perplexed* “You’re trying to order castellane from Indonesia?”

Dad: “Of course, I am; I can’t find them anywhere else! Now, order them. I’m sure you can figure something out.”

Me: “But Dad, it’s gonna cost you lots of money. Are you sure?”

Dad: “Look, I have the money. I can afford it. Now do it.”

(Despite finding it silly to order pasta from half a world away while in Italy, I decide to try and figure something out. After several rounds of Google Translate and some guesswork, I manage to get myself on the page for one that works for our purposes. He tells me how many packs he wants to get and I input the number.)

Me: “All right. Do you have an account or do you want me to use mine?”

Dad: “No, try to use mine. If you use yours, it’ll get delivered to your flat.”

Me: *sighing* “Okay, can you tell me the password?”

Dad: “The password? What password? Can’t I just use my email?”

Me: “No, you can’t.” *realizing* “Wait, so you didn’t actually make an account?”

Dad: *getting agitated* “Didn’t I already make one? Why does that matter?”

Me: *resigned* “Because you put your email in [Supermarket Chain]’s database and made an account with them, not with these guys.”

Dad: *screaming* “What the f***? Who designed this stupid bulls***? F*** you and f*** your incomprehensible online things, you handicapped swine!”

(And with that, he started pouting and complaining about not getting his precious castellane. My mother suggested I just pretend to order that pasta from Indonesia and actually do nothing, since it was just “one of his personal fads,” but sometimes I wish I could tie him to a chair and make him learn basic informatics.)

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When Paper Towels Are Worth More Than Gold

, , , , , , | Related | March 29, 2020

Our home computer is in the kitchen/dining room area. My mom is at the computer and I am in the kitchen. I’m puttering around when I feel the need to blow my nose, so I tear off a paper towel and blow.

Nothing comes out. No snot, boogers, or mucous-like substances. Just hot air. So, now, I’m standing there with a perfectly good paper towel, wondering what to do with it, when I spot a water spill on the counter. Happy that the paper towel shall not go unused, I quickly wipe up the spill with the non-nosed side of the towel and turn to toss it.

That’s when I see my mother looking at me as though she is replaying my entire childhood in her head and wondering where exactly we went wrong with my upbringing. I explain that I’d actually failed to blow my nose, and we share a laugh, but I don’t know if she actually believed me or just thought I was covering for myself.

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