Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Autism Diaries XLVII: A Roundup of the Latest Mischief

J has had a very productive couple of days. He’s gotten way ahead in his homework, has thoroughly cleaned up and organized his bedroom, has assisted me in setting up mosquito larva lures around the yard, and has spent hours on Chess Master improving his game. In other words, he’s doing penance for his latest round of mischief.

You’d think April 1st would be J’s big day, but for some reason it wasn’t until several weeks later that the excitement began. Now 6 foot 4, he looks down on the rest of the family, and down on our household fixtures, even those up close to the ceiling. But when the light switch in our living room suddenly stopped turning on the chandelier, it didn’t occur to me that anyone would have taken the trouble to unscrew every single bulb.

Patience, indeed, is a great virtue, and if you stick it out, it can pay off big time. Eventually, for example, your homework tutor will forget to log out of her gmail account before leaving, allowing you to send a message, say, to everyone in her address book (“My house burned down”), or, once you realize that some of the people in the address book (say, your parents) might catch you red handed, then to just a select few addressees (say, to one of E’s other employers, 100 iterations of “my f***-ing keyboard doesn’t work, flanked by 1000 iterations of f***).

For J, so oblivious to so much around him, including (thankfully for now) the facts of life, is always attuned to signals of anger, and, just this weekend when Daddy took a wrong turn and said “s***”, observed that he first heard the word “s***” when he was three, but back then didn’t know what it meant. (He still didn’t know its literal meaning, but could tell me “it’s a bad word that you’re not supposed to use.”)

His greatest coup, just one day earlier, also involved Daddy driving. He was out at a chess tournament with E, his tutor, and suddenly decided that he’d prefer to be with Daddy instead (Daddy being his favorite person in the universe). So when E let him play a game on her cell phone during one of the breaks, he surreptitiously texted Daddy, capitalizing on the fact that E is periodically struck with debilitating headaches. Here’s the text exchange between Daddy and “E”:

”E”: I’m having a terrible headache right now.

Daddy: I’m in Fort Washington getting the car serviced; I’m kind of stuck. Could someone there get you aspirin? 
[We have only one car]
“E”: My headache is really terrible right now. 
Daddy tries calling E, but for some reason she doesn't pick up.

An aggravating hour-long drive later, poof!, Daddy appears at the chess tournament, slightly baffled; E goes home, slightly baffled (J having deleted all his text messages from her cell phone); and it’s only a couple of days later, when E returns and we examine Daddy’s text messages, that we all sort out what had happened.


C T said...

Am I terrible for giggling at that last story?

Deirdre Mundy said...

Clearly you erred in teaching him grammar and language! Because now his texts are indistinguishable from a neurotypical adult's.... :)