Susan's Blog

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Controlled Kaos

Do me a favor, as you read this, knock wood. I don’t want any Evil Eyes to come along and take this away. But — Nat has had a burst in initiative! It’s part of his burgeoning need to control the things around him, but I suppose that being a Control Freak is at the heart of every successful initiator, when you think about it.

He has become very concerned about other people’s business, other people’s routines. You may remember I reported a few weeks ago that when Ben refused to put on socks, Nat became upset. He does not like bare feet; anyone who has read that autism book Making Peace With Autism (hey, I hear it’s now out in paperback, quite affordable, makes a great gift!) would know just how much Natty hates bare feet. Anyway, after Ben kept refusing, and then when that Little Beast actually put on his socks and then took them right off, Nat yelled out, “I want to hit!” But he did not. That menschkeit MiniMan held it together!

You might also remember the coat incident. Not nearly as charming a story. My shearling is fine, but the memory of being smacked in the head again and again simply because of a coat not being removed still smarts.

Well now we have the laundry story. The other day, Nat saw our brimming laundry basket and said, “Do a laundry.” Laundry baskets, in his mind, are supposed to be empty, I guess! Well I guess I’m the sloth mother! Anyway, I said, “Okay, Natty, do it with me!” So we went through the house collecting everyone’s dirty stuff and Nat lugged the heavy basket down to the basement for me. How wonderful to be surrounded by big strong men! A dream come true. Max puts out the trash, Nat carries the laundry basket.

So, as always, I forgot about the load until it was congealed wet and solid against the sides of the washing machine. But Nat reminded me. We went down together and put it in the dryer. After the dryer had long buzzed, I remained upstairs doing my thing, whatever that was. Soon I hear Nat trudging up from the basement, but I thought he was merely bringing it all to my bed for me to take care of later.

I went upstairs a few minutes later, and the laundry was nowhere to be seen. But then, I saw Nat smashing a large pile of socks and briefs into his drawer: it was all the socks, (both his and Max’s), and all the briefs (both his and Ned’s). They all look the same; why not? Only I know the differences. I see a pile of sheets smooshed into a chair in the corner. I see my stuff laid out on my dresser! Ned’s tee shirts, in his drawer!

Hmm, “Where’s Max’s boxers?” Finally I look in Ben’s room. They were in there, I guess because Nat figured they were little pants and belonged to Ben!

So clever, such a self-starter, my Natty.


Good for Nat! That’s just wonderful.

I actually just finished your book (wonderful, I loaned it to my friend whose son was just diagnosed). I laughed out loud about the socks, because as much as your Nat hates to be barefoot, my Andrew hates to have socks and shoes on! He hates clothes all together, lol.

Congrats to Nat on his initiative!

— added by Judi on Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 7:06 pm

Seems we both ‘suffer’ from the laundry police.

— added by Maddy on Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 8:32 pm

I loved this story. I bet Nat’s going to surprise you with a lot more things too…nothing gets past these guys!

— added by Candy on Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 11:05 pm

Oh, to have a son who wants his laundry done.

Our Buddy Boy hides his dirty clothes in the back of his closet, because he doesn’t want them cleaned.

He says he’ll let us hand wash them, but he just doesn’t want them put into the washer. So we have to sneak them out when he’s not looking. đŸ™‚

— added by Club 166 on Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 11:29 pm

I am in awe!! That’s so awesome!
I’m still working on getting Alena to clean up her room…

— added by Jen on Friday, February 23, 2007 at 12:47 pm

oh, i LOVE that! i am so proud of him!!

— added by kyra on Friday, February 23, 2007 at 8:51 pm

T. (my younger son) is OK with barefoot and OK with shoes and socks, but socks alone? Forget it.

To the point of pulling off his twin sister’s socks if she’s taken off her shoes but not her socks!

No help with laundry yet. I figure eventually it’ll happen, one way or another. (I am not sending any of my children off to college without them knowing how to do their own laundry with confidence!) The oldest is 5, I figure there’s plenty of time still….

— added by Julia on Saturday, February 24, 2007 at 2:17 pm

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