Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.
Everyone has personality. My little guy is no exception. His little gleam is 1000 watts of power when he is in the mood to make it so. Autism does not stop him from seeking the spotlight, hamming it up and looking for his round of applause.
What is personality? In psychology, according to Dictionary.com, personality is: (a) the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics of an individual;(b) the organized pattern of behavioral characteristics of the individual. My son definitely has an organized pattern of behavioral characteristics. Hmm, let’s see:
Is it just my kid that chooses brand name labels for obsession? My son loves brand names of products. He has a long standing love of all things with the Fisher-Price label for obvious reasons. But other than toys, he has a love for many other exciting brand-names.
Current favorites? Crate & Barrel and Rubbermaid. Crate & Barrel became a huge deal when we bought a timer for his ABA sessions there. He loves the lettering of the words together.
As for Rubbermaid? In a very exciting and eventful day, not too long ago, I bought a new mop and bucket to replace my Swiffer. I don’t like the Swiffer anymore. It’s weak and wimpy. I needed something heavy duty that could tackle a FEMA site like my kitchen. I was trying to clean the residue of the great popcorn fire of 2011. The bucket? Yes. Rubbermaid.
You think your kids don’t like the vacuum? Try using a mop around my son. For some unknown reason, he thinks the mop is a monster coming to eat him alive! Yet, at the same time, he expresses a morbid curiosity that compels him to get in my way when I use it. He now wants me to buy another Rubbermaid bucket. Dark blue.
I made some soup recently and offered to put some in a container for my mom. My dad brought me a container. It’s Rubbermaid. Someone pointed that out to me. Guess who?
Due to his whole obsession with Air Wick, which I talked about here, he learned many different names for air freshening products, including Glade, Lysol and Clorox. He still brings these up from time to time when we pass them in the grocery store or at Target. He never tires of trying to get me to buy him one.
The little guy is growing and picking up language. Some of that language is also an expression of his desire for socialization. This is actually really exciting stuff! He has a playdate every Monday through ABA with his longtime friend “B”. Here is our conversation about that:
T: “Would you like a playdate?” (He makes this statement every day).
Me: “Say – I would like a playdate.”
T: “I would like a playdate.”
Me: “With whom?”
Me: “Who do you want to play with?”
It’s pretty cute. Clearly, he’s loving the chance to play with another boy his age, even if they do not talk much and play side by side. Better still? He can tell me that.
Friday, I was meeting in my office with Jessica, our paralegal and Mary, our law clerk to prepare for trial. In walked T from his ABA session. Here’s what happened:
T: “Wanna play with the ladies!”
(Laughter from all three of us for a couple minutes- naturally assuming he was talking about us)
Me: “Which ladies are you talking about?”
T: “The Weight Watchers’ ladies.”
He’ll have his chance to charm them with that personality soon enough.
Finally, late last night, T ran up to his dad and exclaimed,
“Wanna hang out! Wanna hang out with Daddy!” He actually wanted to go to the kitchen closet and look at the Rubbermaid bucket. I knew that. Daddy didn’t. So, like a sucker, he took him out there. That gave me time to finish this post! Score!