I have to admit that of the range of issues our children possess, I have the greatest difficulty with those whose IQs are low. I would rather deal with an intelligent, oppositional child any day than someone whose functioning level is considered "low" to "moderate." Over the years I have spent many hours with our conduct disordered and oppositional defiant children, and while that is never an easy road, for some reason it is easier for me. I was reminded of that last night as we joined family friends last night at a local pizza establishment.
My wife, neither shy nor demure, spotted the sign announcing a "future" for those wishing to apply for employment at said pizza place. She specifically targeted our nineteen-year-old, unemployed (but going to college) son and our fifteen-year-old son as needing to find a "future," and made it clear to them that they needed to complete applications before leaving last night. The older son groused about it considerably, about how he would never work at a pizza place, that we couldn't make him apply and that even if he got a job he wouldn't show up for work. And on and on it went. The other son got the application, filled it out, scribbled out several mistakes and then asked me how it looked. So I told him, "It doesn't look that good, Jimmy. You didn't take much time in filling it out, you have incomplete information and it doesn't look like you care. People don't want to hire people whose applications look like that." A dazed look on his face precursed his words, "Oh, OK. I'm going to turn it in now." I could only mentally shrug, because I knew that there was nothing more I could do. He would not be willing to complete a new application with better care, and I've known him long enough now to realize there's nothing more at this point I can do. The older son also filled out his application and turned it in, so at least they were compliant in the end.
As we riding back home (it was just the two of them and I together in the car), the younger asked, "Dad, how come no one ever calls me back after I fill out an application?" "We've already covered that, Jimmy," I said, "you have to do a better job in completing the application so that they want to call you back." "Oh. Well, they're dumb." To which the older of the two chimed, "Yeah, I can't believe how retarded they are."
It was all I could do not to laugh. What I wanted to say was, "I don't think it's the people at Godfather's who are retarded," but I have, after all, been well trained over the years to treat people with mental handicaps with respect. Yep, it was pizza and low IQ night for our family last night.