I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hand luggage and Teflon

It takes up a disproportionate amount of time in my working memory:- how to minimize luggage but maximize options?

It’s quite selfish really.

I have three sets of clothes that I wear all the time, the on, the off and the in the wash. It’s perfect. It’s perfect until we set off for our annual holiday to England.

Wear one and pack the other two in a suitcase?


Wear one and pack the other two in the hand luggage. My suitcase in the hold will be full of other essential items, none of which will be clothes, least of all my own clothes.

This is o.k. because I will need all three sets of clothes for the journey. I shall be up and dressed in set number one at about 5 in the morning. I shall then remain immaculate throughout the day until we fly at 7 in the evening. It is essential that I remain in set number one come what may. During the first hour of the flight, my eldest son will have a technicolour accident, a combination of fear of flying and air sickness. At this point, I shall abandon set number one, wrap them in several bags and shove them at the bottom of the backpack.

Once I have donned set two, I shall remain inviolate during the remaining 9 hours of the flight, apart from other little accidents. Those lap tray tables are so tricky to manage. During the 9 hours I shall be speckled with three meals from several people, and possibly my own. I shall be sprinkled, doused and drenched in every available beverage. I shall reluctantly shun the offer of a free glass of wine. Befuddlement in confined spaces is a mistake.

As we move forwards through the night, we shall arrive yesterday. As we hit the ground in England, de-plane, charm customs, salute passport checkers, locate buses, hire a car and pile ourselves into it, I shall then have been in set number two for 12 hours, together with enough foodstuffs to make a severe dent in the world food shortage.

I shall resist the urge to change into set number three.

We will drive to our rental, de-car, relocate ourselves and our baggage into the flat. I shall make up four beds in the hope that someone will sleep sometime soon. Only when sleep is imminent shall I remove set two, leaving set three available, ready for the next shift, although not necessarily the next day. Otherwise, waking time will arrive and I shall be threadbare and threadless.

This annual problem weighs heavily upon my mind.

Whilst the English are more open to nud.ity, the weather tends to be inclement.

I need an alternative solution.

And here it is.

There again, I may just have to grit my teeth and go shopping for an entirely new outfit altogether.

Don’t do that. What?

Sometimes I just yearn for a scientific mind.

You see it most commonly in toddlers and those under the age of 5 when social awareness has yet to eradicate it. It always strikes me as being half way between a yawn and a stretch. It’s a gesture that intrigues me as I watch a three year old girl twist and pull her skirt up towards her face, to reveal a pair of pink leggings. It does not appear purposeful, more like the shudder of cat coming awake. It’s the same as another child that appears to half pull off his T-shirt. They remained clothed and decent, as they don’t complete the motion. Somehow it is not the same as someone undressing. It’s more like slow motion followed by a pause.

It should have a name. Where should I start in the dictionary?

It appears that most children grow out of this phase but others do not. I suspect that whatever prompts the behaviour is outstripped by the stronger motivation to fit in with the social mores. Some others are both stuck in this phase and usually manage to complete the motion unless prompted to do otherwise. Because it is slow and lazy there’s enough time to step in. If I could figure out the why, then I might be able to tackle the habit more effectively. It’s all well and good to say ‘no,’ to be watchful and intervene, but it would be so much better to determine the cause.

This is so often the case with so many of their habits. If someone is not aware that they’re doing something, it seems pointless to ban it outright without further investigation. If the social awareness and peer pressure element is missing, or not a priority, it is still wise to prompt and guide, but it’s not ideal. If the tactile defensiveness component is eliminated, what else is left?

It is not the same as undressing. Undressing is purposeful and fast, over in the blink of an eye. This gesture is a distracted movement, common in youngsters that I never see with adults. If they are both kinesthetic learners, learn by their bodies going through the motions, I wonder if once they start the gesture, their bodies just follow through, as the ‘pause’ at the apex of the movement for most people, is over-ridden?

It is these kinds of thoughts that make life so unproductive.

Where are all the boffins when you need one?

Come along villagers, out of the lab, it's time for some fieldwork.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button