Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where There's Mess There's Memories

Sticky fingers.

They have been everywhere in my house.  They have touched every surface, every light switch, every handle.

And I know who the culprit is…



While he has no problem eating his dry cereal with his fingers or picking up his meat or anything else that usually requires a utensil, he does, however, have an aversion to placing his hands under the faucet for a quick rinse.

Mind you… I didn’t say, “wash” because that would involve soap.

No… I’m just asking for a lightning fast run through a stream of H20 and wiping them off somewhere other than his pants or shirt.

Am I asking too much?

Is this merely a “boy” thing that I am not privy to because I lack the genitalia and really has nothing to do with autism?

I wonder….

In the meantime though I am hounding him at least a few times a day to go wash his hands.

And, as always, futile though it may be, I yell “with soap!”

If he knew how to roll his eyes he would.  Instead I get the sigh and the hanging head.  I can hear his brain asking, “What did I do now?” as if washing his hands was a punishment.

I’ve been a mother of an autistic child for almost 15 years and I am still amazed at how difficult the smallest things can be.

I have to admit though that something might be clicking in his head with regards to the stickiness of his fingers.

Oh gosh no… not like he would ever wash his hands voluntarily!

But the other day I caught him wiping down the light switch in his room.  Did he make the connection on why his light switch was so dirty?  Probably not.  But where there is one baby step there just might be another.

Who knows?  If this cleaning thing catches on he might start wiping down more surfaces…

Like the mirrors.

Oh, correct that.  Technically, he does wipe the mirrors after he splatters them with toothpaste or water but he uses his hands.

They leave the mirrors absolutely lovely.


Now I know how custodians at department stores feel. 

Seriously???  I just cleaned that!

Every time I reach for the pantry handle and my mind screams a quiet “Yuck!” I think back to the days when the kids were younger.

They were sticky and messy and into something all the time.

Gosh I loved those times.  I miss them.

Maybe by leaving his mark everywhere Sean is reminding me of those times, bringing back those memories, making me relive those days when nothing was more beautiful than a freshly scrubbed face or tender as the tiny touch of a freshly cleaned hand.

Yep… that’s my boy….making me smile yet again.

Or it could be autism.

Or his DNA.

I don’t know.  I’m confused.

Let me think about that while I clean. 

Now can someone hand me the soap?

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