Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh Yes, They Call Him the Streak

Watching a 12-year-old doing somersaults onto his bed while he’s fully naked is some sight to see.  Just take my word for it.

Oh Lord, Conor, that is NOT a good view, seriously. (Although now I think he needs some diaper rash ointment. Good to know.)

May I say, by the way, that I am thrilled that Conor is independent in the shower.  Oh, we yell in there to make sure he washes the stinky parts and try to slyly investigate that he’s actually put the shampoo in his hair (and then washed it out, that’s key).

Whether he washes his face adequately is debatable, but at least we have the Clearasil wipes to help with the burgeoning acne. And he religiously applies his deodorant every night.  We started when he was nine years old because I didn’t want any fighting about it. 

(His favorite scent?  Lavender.  He’s in touch with his feminine side.)

As soon as he’s finished in the shower, he walks over to the bathroom door and wham!  Slams it open.  He hangs up the towel and the bath mat (after cleaning up all the puddles of water on the floor).  All totally, completely, entirely, wholly buck-naked.

And then he skips (skipsno lie) naked into his bedroom, screeching and hooting and hollering. And don’t forget the onto-the-bed-somersault.  It is, as I’ve said, quite remarkable. Eyebrow raising, even.

Living with Conor makes you question any hang up you might have about being naked in front of another person.  Clearly, it has never occurred to him that being naked is anything out of the ordinary.

Evidently, clothes are simply for warmth.  Otherwise, why bother? I think he’d be right at home at a nudist colony.  Hey, skippity-do-da, skippity-ay, look at me!

After Conor was diagnosed, I did a lot of reading.  And when I read that children with autism have trouble with social norms, they didn’t mention this.  The nakedness, I mean. I thought they meant he didn’t know how to shake hands and say “Nice to meet you.”

Honestly, when he was seven, it took us the better part of a summer to convince him that you shouldn’t change into your bathing suit at the side of the pool.  Really, Conor, it’s more polite to use the cabana or go inside the house.  That’s the social norm.

“Do five year olds change their pants at the pool?” he’d yell.

“No, Conor,” we’d patiently reply.  “You have to go inside to change. I don’t care if you change in the closet, just go inside.”

It was like he was some sort of drunk frat boy.  You couldn’t reason with him.  Why should he have to change inside, in the privacy of his home? He’s actually had a few tantrums over this, and still, to this day, he talks about it.

Conor, dude, this isn’t a hot tub with tipsy co-eds filming Girls Gone Wild.  This is a family-friendly event.

Put your pants on!

An oldie but a goodie.  Aidan got a kick out of this.