No Shirts, No Service

My son has his quirks.

It’s his autism in part. And being a boy.

Drive a different route home and he’ll call you up on it. “Hey! Why aren’t we going home?”

He thinks left is right and right is left when it comes to putting on his shoes. And he gets stuck taking off his clothes. Send the five-year-old to brush his teeth and he’ll spend an hour playing with the running water if you let him. And he’ll happily eat standing up at the table. Tell him you’re going to eat him up because he’s so cute and he thinks that may just happen.

Of course, these traits can be damn useful sometimes, so useful that I may incorporate some of them into my life.

We went to a birthday party the other day and son got himself dressed as we prepared our bags and got our two-year-old daughter in her clothes. We were running late. Quick! Out the door, into the car and to the party.

The kids played and we chatted with the other parents. Lunch was served and the kids ate hot dogs and pizza. My son, who likes his food, dug in and part of his slice of mozzarella pizza slipped out of his hands and onto his T-shirt. He picked the morsels off his shirt and ate them. No tears were shed over the tomato stain on his shirt, no look of consternation. No sweat. He simply pulled off his shirt and behold underneath another shirt. He kept eating.

A 10-year-old girl watched the affair and smiled.

“That’s pretty smart,” she said to my son.

Doubly so, really. For when it came to plowing into the birthday cake a bit of moist chocolate icing fell onto his shirt. No sweat, no tears. Off the shirt came to reveal a third shirt.

My son smiled and put his hand up as if to say wait until you see this. He had another two shirts in reserve.

“Cool,” the 10-year-old girl said.

I smiled proudly.

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More stories on: Autism
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • JoeBruin88 August 30, 2010, 2:05 pm

    Charles, that was funny! Hope to you see you again someday and meet your family.

  • LittleMissCupcakes August 31, 2010, 4:17 am

    I used to work with a girl who was autistic, I always wondered what was going on in her mind. So often people view differences as negative, but I think it's truly amazing. The world could use more different minds. Too many people thinking the same way is a recipe for monotony and the opposite of progress.

  • Rebekah Zenn September 1, 2010, 6:44 pm

    I just randomly stumbled upon your blog today… my 2 1/2 year old son is also autistic and he has a lot of funny quirks too. I LOVE love LOVE this post about putting on 5 shirts! Thanks for sharing!

  • LittleMissCupcakes September 2, 2010, 5:13 am

    I'm back again, I just wanted to let you know I gave you a blog award. Don't feel compelled to respond or re-post but I just wanted to let you know how highly I think of your blog.
    Thank you!

  • Charles Newbery September 2, 2010, 2:14 pm

    Thanks for all the comments… and the blog award. It's appreciated. So I will do like my son and put on a bunch of shirts in case I spill my celebratory glass of champagne. Thanks.

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