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Monday, April 02, 2007

What is normal anyway?

‘He didn’t have any shorts on today [underpants]’ says the note inside his backpack. I look at my son, blissfully unaware. Although I am not male, I can imagine that clothes without underwear would be,……….uncomfortable, or would be for someone who had the usual number of nerve endings, or failing that, the correct brain wiring to be able to detect that it should be uncomfortable. I muss his hair and concentrate. More occupational therapy? Something to help him connect the dots. He’s always better after "‘brushing’ and ‘joint compression,’" less discombobulated.

When we’re in the car on the return journey home, his legs grind into the back of my seat, extend, relax, extend relax, not rhythmical, but regular. He’ll wear his knee caps out doing that. What am I going to do with him? In the rear view mirror, I catch a glimpse of my daughter, a snapshot, one that mirrors her big sister, the blue eyed one.

Those blue eyes remind me of school pick up two decades ago and a visit to the Headmistress’s office for ‘a quiet word.’ I was advised that underwear was compulsory not optional at school, for all pupils, no exceptions. It transpired that this was not a one off incident. She often arrived in class "without her knickers," with all the underlying implications of such an offense. A left the office mystified.

It wasn’t until the following day, en route to school, that I watched her in the rear view mirror. She removed her knickers with stealth and stuffed them down the seam in the seat. On arrival, I checked the back of the seat, maybe twenty pairs, all colours. I nabbed the culprit for a shake down. Why?
“Why? I only like the pink ones mummy!”

Of course! It doesn’t always have to be autism, it can just be youth and colour prejudice.

Not senile yet! Thank goodness I am old.

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