Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Throwing Glass

“Was it clear glass?” The doctor removing the glass imbedded in my finger was explaining that clear glass is hard to see. I told her that it was clear, and that if she turned my finger the right way in the light, she’d see it shine through the hole it left behind. “Don’t mind her,” I said to the doctor, pointing with my non-maimed hand at my daughter Geneva who was taking pictures of the procedure. I explained that we like to document the crazy antics of my son Jukie. “It helps us to see the humor,” I said.

So what was it THIS time? Jukie’s newly acquired habit is throwing glass. Yep, GLASS. He prefers to throw drinking glasses, but in a pinch he’ll choose a ceramic tea party set of his brother’s or a picture frame. After he threw a cocktail glass to the ground in a Baltimore bar last month, he and his dad were asked to move next door to the adjoining restaurant. “He didn’t mean to,” the bartender said, clearly not believing what her eyes told her. (What moving to the restaurant was supposed to accomplish, I am not sure.)

Of course, he does mean it, for he loves the effect as his chosen projectile smashes to the slate floor, spraying glass everywhere like fireworks. While this new practice sounds like a hostile act, most often Jukie is happy and filled with silly “Jukieness” prior to the sneaky deed. He waits until whoever is designated with Jukie-duty diverts her attention for just a moment and then, with lightning speed, he makes his move. He’s so fast that it’s nearly impossible to stop him.

Like Kali, the Hindu goddess of eternal energy, Jukie loves destruction. Of course, he doesn’t see it that way; he has no thought of the consequences of most of his actions, such as my collecting glass shards with the dust broom, a wet paper towel, and my fingertips. To him, the delight seems to be more in the immediate cause and effect. And the effects of these effects have been rather expensive; sometimes we joke that we need a separate homeowner’s insurance policy just for Jukie. Over the years he has:

Torn many items off the walls
Ripped the handle and deadbolt off the front door
Pulled his curtain rod out of wall (leaving a large hole)
Yanked the toilet paper holder out of wall (leaving a small hole)
Chucked many items down the stairs (including Geneva’s violin)
Whipped things at the ceiling fan to watch them hit and fly in all directions
Broken multiple lamps
Flushed God-knows-what down the toilet – necessitating its replacement
Thrown various fragile items at the ceiling
Bitten Geneva on the stomach while dancing happily with her
And, of course, the recent classic: feeding 3 boxes of wipes into his fan (see photo below)

Of course it’s often maddening to be present during Jukie’s whimsical demolition, much less the recipient of it. But, I can also understand it. Jukie has little say in where he goes and what he does. He has to rely on us to interpret his thoughts through just the few words which he communicates through PECS, or mystically via our special psychic connections with him. So often it’s hard to be Jukie. I get his need to blow off a little steam, and evidently nothing livens up the house like a little shattered glass! And really, who wouldn’t love to throw some glasses at the floor now and then. As we finish yet another kitchen cleanup, we wonder what will last longer, our remaining glassware, or this new tradition of Jukie’s, one that makes him as happy as a new groom, crushed glass underfoot, and the joyful words “Mazel Tov” hanging in the air!


  1. Mazel Tov indeed! Once again Kate, you have put it all in perspective. I just had pear-sauce on the carpet by accident. Put my in a bit of a tizzy. How DO you retain the zen? Teach me oh wise one! Have you ever been to a psychic about Jukie? If not, let's go!

  2. Oh, I'm so happy to be warned about his new fascination. Luckily, we have very little glass in the class (or so I think), but I will certainly give the room a double-check. I, too, wonder how you retain the zen. An overpowering love for this little red-headed giggle-machine must be part of it!

  3. Merry, I HAVE seen a psychic about Jukie! I should write about that.

    Sylvia, you are right -- Jukie is so easy to love...and that carries us through all of the craziness!