Come back! All is forgiven

My youngest son has an extreme version of tactile defensiveness, or at least he did, until today.

Tactile defensiveness is a curse [for the parent of course] but when it is coupled with a distinct absence of fine motor skills, the combination is a disaster area. [for the parent]   If you have a small person in your care who will not touch anything but even if he does, the experience is likely to be a failure, due in part to a lack of prior exposure, progress can be painfully slow. [for the parent]  It is usually just as you are busy adjusting to the status quo of what is generally referred to as a disability, that someone arbitrarily changes the rules, without prior warning.

I explain the 'problem' to spouse when the next opportunity presents itself.  [translation –  3:05 a.m. when he returns from work]

“Look!” I squeak, as I thrust the carton under his nose.  It contains two dis-emboweled  racing cars.
“They're racing cars.”
“I know!  But they're in bits!  Look at them!”
“I can see that they're in bits.”
“I kept having to put them back together, but I gave up in the end.  I must have reassembled these little blighters fifty times each today!”
“Good for you.”
“No!  Not good for me.  He was screaming the place down each time.”
“Level 10 screaming?”
“You'd better believe it.  I'm completely out of ear plugs now.” [translation = parents of autistic children frequently have unusual spending patterns and uncommon expenditures]
“Well why did you take them apart then?”
“I didn't!  He took them apart but then he couldn't put them back together again.”
“I used to take things apart when I was little.  He's just curious about how things work.”
“Did you do that when you were 6?”
“I don't know.  Ask my mum?”
“I will, believe me, I most certainly will.”
“Tomorrow?”
“Certainly, when we phone home.  So tell me, did you put them back together again afterwards?”
“Yes.”
“Did they work properly?”
“Depends upon how many extra bits I had left over.”
“What!”
“Do you know?”
“What?”
“Do you remember how they've always managed to take their clothes off but it's taken us……what…….two and a half years to help them to learn how to put them back on again?”
“Hmm…….yes.”
“Well it will be the same with cars.  He can take them apart now, in another couple of years, he'll be able to put them back together again.”
“So we just have to put up with a graveyard of dismembered bodies in the meantime.”
“You mean junkyard.”
“It's still pretty selective though.”
“What is?”
“His tactile defensiveness issues.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, I had to step over them as I came up the stairs.”
“Step over what?
“The new wax crayons.”
“?”
“Oh, he'd taken all the paper wrappers off and lined up the crayons like a conveyor belt.  Nearly broke my neck on them in the dark.”
“You're always telling me off for wandering around in the dark!  Why didn't you turn a light on?”
“Must be a contagious condition.”  [translation = we're married and not otherwise related, so it's not genetic.]
“Remind me why you spent all that time replacing all the old bulbs with energy efficient ones?”  [translation – six and a half hours of clanking ladders and accompanying foul language]
“Save the environment, do our bit to save the world of course.”
“Doesn't it annoy you a bit that they make that buzzing noise now, flicker in a mesmerizing fashion and make the dimmer switches defunct?”
“We need to disable the  dimmer function.”
“Please save me from engineers!”
“That's my boy.”

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