Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Autism diaries XXI: the fading pleasures of petty theft

When it comes to cell phones, wallets, and keys, being in our house is like being out in public. Leave any of these items unattended for a few minutes (as our guests, too, have learned) and they're apt to be snatched up and made off with. The difference is that here in our house it's not so much a matter of theft (we keep a running tab of how much money J is supposed to have, for example, and he knows it) as of mischief. You know, the sheer delight in disappearing people's valuables and then watching them react.

But even this pleasure, however intense it once was, can fade. This weekend after we realized that my husband's wallet had disappeared (I had accidentally left it out after paying the babysitter: silly me!), I asked J where he'd put it. He was in the middle of doing something on the computer at the time, and sighed, got up, wandered into one room, realized he'd misremembered, and then wandered back to where he'd been, pulled a chair over to the wall, and reached up to the ceiling molding. Retrieving it, he handed it over to my husband and returned to the computer. Nary a glint in his eye nor a smile on his face. 

But here's the rub: will such fading delights inspire an end to the mischief, or new innovations?

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