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Boy, elevated

Posted Nov 18 2008 12:10am


My boys continue to amaze and fascinate me. T was obsessive/compulsive about elevators this weekend, so much so that he fell into a stagnant, stinky, black drainage canal trying to get to a building that has one. The most astonishing thing about this is that he was headed in exactly the right direction, without ever having been in that particular neighborhood before. It all started at a local park, when T ostensibly decided he to walk around on the nature trail. He and I ended up meandering around an unfamiliar part of town. It took a while for me to figure out what was going on. T's sense of geography is scarily accurate. He was heading straight for a hospital he knows has several elevators, though it was quite far ahead. The building is not visible from that neighborhood.

As for the drainage canal, I thought I had spotted a way to the nearby main thoroughfare, but the way was blocked by the canal. As I looked up and down the canal for a way to cross, T took off down the narrow bank. He was in tennis shoes; I was in Birkenstocks, so my footing was most unsure, and my balance isn't the greatest to begin with. T's balance is almost as good as his sense of geography, but he misjudged his footing and slid down into the knee-deep sludge. I pulled him out no worse for wear, but very wet and stinking badly. I saw a utility pipe going across the canal, parallel to, and about two feet away from, a telephone pole laid across the waterway. I sat on the pole and slid my butt across, holding T's hand as he walked across on the pipe. We came out very close to the LDS Bishop's Storehouse, which he is absolutely convinced contains an elevator. I've not been in the building, but I suspect that what looks like a second story is a food warehouse area accessed with ladders and/or lifts instead of elevators. I had to utilize a "crisis prevention" walk (read "manhandle") to get T back to the park, about a mile away. We got in plenty of elevator play at our usual stops, and I took T to the beach, which he enjoyed as much as A did last week.

It seemed that T's autism/OCD is coinciding with some pretty typical boy behavior. I wasn't one to risk dumping myself into the ooze just to get something I wanted when I was that age, much less not caring about it, but plenty of boys are more like T. Also, T won't let me give him hugs and kisses anymore--it seems to embarass him--while he remains openly affectionate towards DW. This afternoon, we brought T back to Alexandria and checked into the hotel where we have our "swimming pool" visits with our kids. After some swimming and elevator play, T pointed at me, put his face close to mine, and said, "nissyu." He repeated that phrase several times to both DW and me over the next few minutes, and it didn't dawn on me until later that he was saying "miss you," as in "okay, I'm ready to go back to school now." T is a very brave, rapidly maturing little man these days.

ETA--Another thing I've noticed recently is T's ability to window-shop for toys whilst playing with other ones. He'll fiddle with this or that toy at the store, then, on the next trip there, make a beeline for another, nearby toy in which he showed no interest whatsoever. Yesterday, he chose to purchase a Bible action figure of King David, I suppose demonstrating that his Catholic religious education is taking hold. I told him that his mommy would be very pleased with his selection. This David is a bit of a blabbermouth--he tends to speak for a few minutes at a stretch when you push the button on his back. Also, DW was pleased with the selection, particularly upon noticing that this plastic David did not blame Bathsheba for David's most notorious act of adultery and treachery--unlike the evidently self-hating women of the Logan, Utah, 24th LDS Ward gospel doctrine class, and unlike the self-hating woman in the New Orleans 1st LDS Ward, whose insistence that Bathsheba was to blame annoyed DW so much that she went into labor with A within hours of leading a doctrinal discussion of the David/Bathsheba incident. I think it would be hilarious to have a Soto Zen Buddha action figure. You push the button on his back, and he says absolutely nothing, emphasizing the wordless transmission of the dharma.

T had me draw this in the car yesterday, one of about 50 pictures of McDonald's I drew this week. Wouldn't it be nice if all of our obsessions and desires came with rainbows and sunshine?

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