Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a register of irrationalities

Here's what Martin wore on his upper body today, in order from inner to outer: a Duke soccer t-shirt, a poison dart frog t-shirt, a dog sweater, a red and black striped sweater, a New York fire department t-shirt, a Croatian soccer jersey, and a red cable-knit sweater. He looked like a sumo wrestler prepping for a trip to Siberia.

Here's how Martin spent several stretches of his evening: lining up animals, pushing them into a barn, and singing, "And we're going to the promised land." At other times, he lined up animals, pushed them under blankets, and sang "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

He got mad at my husband and me several times. We didn't let him watch more than one movie. We didn't give him chocolate ice cream. We offered to read him books. We tried to help him play out his little animal scenarios. All to maddening effect. Apparently, we do nothing but drive our children crazy.

And after all this bizarrro behavior and contrariness, Martin sat down and ate his supper. Two helpings of pasta and a plate full of peas. I simply cannot make sense of it.


  1. Did he keep all of those shirts on ALL DAY!???? WOW...it's cold and snowy here but that is a lot of clothes.

    -Aunt J

  2. Yep. All day long. Finally, at 8:15p when it was time for bed he and I enacted an elaborate disrobing ritual which involved him repeating, "... and would you help me take *this* shirt off?" and me holding first one sleeve and then the other while he pulled his arms through. Then he would say, "and now we can put *this* shirt in the drawer."

    See the whole shirt thing started with him deciding he needed to put all of the clothing in his drawers into the laundry basket so that he could take them downstairs and launder them. When I attempted to explain how that was not usually how laundry worked, he decided to dispose of the large pile of clothing he had already pulled from the drawer by putting it on. He threw a fit when he found himself unable to find an article of clothing with sufficient girth to fit over his bulging cable-knit sweater and I had to surreptitiously slip the rest of the clothes back into the drawers while his back was turned or he might be throwing that fit still.

    So it goes....


  3. I can only say... I am glad my patience is not tested to such an extent... I'm glad you and Stacy have each other... I wish we could do more to support you... Martin is so lucky to have you as parents...

  4. Don't try and make sense of it. In other parts of your life you live with ambiguity and seemingly irrational ideas such as ideas of faith. Even if Martin were not on the autism spectrum he would do things that didn't make sense. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be, but it can only be more frustrating when you are trying to make rational sense of it. I also have to admit that living in the constant chaos and not knowing must be exhausting. I hope you are finding ways to live in some order and routine as well.

  5. A 'dog sweater' as in 'a sweater with a dog on it' or 'a sweater for a dog'? I realize that's not the point of the post, but I am intrigued.

  6. Neither. It's a sweater made of dog-hair. Those Amish are just masters of making sumphin outta nuttin. Apple Creek, Oh is chock full of that sort of thing.