Thursday, June 16, 2011
Chef is drawn to stuff - little bits of stuff. Along the baseboards and on the floor of his bedroom, you can usually find balls that have been made up of lint/fluff/thread, tiny bits of paper, tiny bits of stone, broken bits of small metal objects (screws, bobby pins, nails, paperclips) tied to bits of thread or jammed between the baseboard and the carpet if I haven't been vigilant in keeping his room clear of metal bits, etc., etc. Sometimes he uses the latter to start holes in drywall; sometimes he tucks bits 'n stuff inside drywall.
Sometimes we keep vinegar in the bathroom for cleaning purposes. Sometimes, the vinegar bottle ends up with bits of thread, lint, fluff, and floor harvestings floating inside. Sometimes we keep baking soda in the bathroom for cleaning purposes. And sometimes the baking soda container also ends up with similar contents.
I haven't kept my toiletries in the bathroom for years because Chef used to experiment with them, pour some down the drain, break off pieces of deodorant, etc., and I only needed to find my toothbrush not in its usual place once before deciding to keep toiletries somewhere else. We've stopped keeping Q-tips and bathroom linens in the bathroom as well. Every once in awhile, I put a couple of towels in the upstairs bathroom cupboard, and every once in awhile I put a box of Q-tips in the main floor basement, but that never lasts long and it's not an area where I've chosen to put much time and effort when there are other areas that are more of a priority for Chef. My daughter who moved back in last summer, however, keeps all her shampoos, hair products, some hair accessories, etc., in the bathroom and has thus far only had one or two minor mixing experiments happen and they've been fairly recent.
I've recently decided to keep one of my pumice stones and my homemade "shampoo" in the bottom drawer in the bathroom. So far, that's been fine so I decided that I'd put my bottle of olive oil in the drawer as well. The bottle itself, as far as I can see, is fine. There has since, however, been olive oil on Chef's bedroom wall ("Why is today's urine on the wall shiny?" Ah yes, one of those things I'd never imagined myself wondering), olive oil in the baking soda container, and an olive oil/baking soda blend smeared onto the tub surround wall (likely to see if olive oil/baking soda works as well as vinegar/baking soda, I imagine). And so, the olive oil bottle has migrated back to my bedroom.
This morning, I noticed my grey pumice stone was not in bathroom - not in the drawer, not by the tub, not on the counter, not in the garbage pail, not in the cupboard. It's a pumice stone. No feet, no friends with cars. I don't take it to other rooms. I checked Chef's room. Not there. I very bravely lifted the corner of his vent cover with the edge of my thumb and even more bravely slid my arm down and felt inside with the back of my hand then pulled it out and exhaled. Not there.
Then my mind started to wander. What would be the draw of a pumice stone? Maybe it was one of the items thrown onto the neighbours' deck. No, they would have easily found it and it would have made a different sound than the sound they'd described. Maybe it will just suddenly re-appear like the cell phone that went missing then suddenly re-appeared in a very obvious spot on the hallway desk after I'd pointed out that it no longer worked anyway.
Not that a pumice stone matters. It's just stuff.
This blog was initially set up as a means of communicating with my son's team. Since then, I've heard from other parents with similar stories. If you are living with challenges or journeying alongside someone who is, you are not alone. There are many of us. I'm a single adoptive Mom (http://richesofsimplicity.blogspot.com/) of a young man who lives with many abilities and many diagnoses. We have journeyed together through many challenges and a few adventures over the years as my son has tried to find space in this world that makes him feel more comfortable, an attempt made especially difficult when living with Attachment Disorder, PDD-NOS (Autism), Developmental Coordination Disorder, ADHD, prenatal substance exposure, etc. Some of the strongest elements used in this journey have been music, visual arts, therapeutic parenting, team-connection, boundary-setting, boundary-setting, boundary-setting, communication skills, community-building, continual lifeskills training, and elements of Theraplay. (Click here for some written resources.) On this journey, there is laughter and tears and growth and hope. The greatest of these is hope.