Thursday, April 26, 2012


Standing at our kitchen island, I was tending to something on the stove one day when in walked our older son, oh-so-casually, naked from the waist down.

"Excuse me, kind sir," I said to him, "just where are your pants?"

"Wet," he said as he set about picking out a cup from the cup drawer and filling it with water.

Wet? From what? I was just with him two minutes ago. All was dry in this household. Younger brother had been spewing the weather forecast ad nauseum for the past five days, and there was no rain in sight.

His morning bus was about to arrive to take him to school. I didn't have time for his nudity.

All of a sudden I thought, oh dear, did I hear him in the bathroom? I made my way to the loo, all the while thinking, please, oh, please, oh, please, oh, please...whew! Toilet was all clear.

So, what gives?

I grabbed a pair of clean underpants from the basket of extras I keep in the bathroom--because I'm not stupid--when I saw his used undies and pants lying on the floor under the sink. Bravely, I went in to investigate.

He must have been getting a drink from the bathroom sink. Perhaps he thought he dripped onto his pants? However, truly, those pants were dry. They were. I found nothing there. NOTHING.

Yelling our son's first and last names at the top of my lungs, I ordered him back to the scene of the crime in order to PUT HIS PANTS BACK ON. There was clearly nothing wrong here, and it was time for school.

I waited.

FIRST-AND-LAST-NAME-SON YOU GET YOUR FANNY IN HERE RIGHT NOW AND PUT YOUR PANTS ON. We are NOT animals in this house. Cave people, perhaps. Animals, not a chance.

I waited.

Seething, I clenched his pants in my fist and marched back into the kitchen where he stood motionless, his eyes large with fear.

"Wet," he said softly.

"These are not wet!" I said extremely frustrated. "Now, put them on!"

He didn't move. He was throwing down the gauntlet. In my eyes, this meant battle. I put those pants on him. I put them on him so fast he didn't know what hit him. I did it with sass, I looked him in the eyes to show him who was boss, and I walked away for dramatic effect.

He took off his pants.

Sigh. I grabbed them. I searched. I searched long and hard. But for some droplets of humidity that might have landed within its fibers, there was no wetness anywhere on those pants. Not that I could tell. No way.

"GET YOUR PANTS ON!" I told him sternly. Clothing was not optional at school.

He didn't move.

With the voice inside my head swearing up a storm, I approached him with those pants; however, this time he was ready. No sooner did I get one leg on than he would take it off. We struggled. Pants on. Pants off. Pants on. Pants off.

Until finally, pants on.

I put those pants on him with authority, and I told him sternly to KEEP THOSE PANTS ON HIS BODY.

That's when I saw it. So unassuming. So small. The resting place of a tiny droplet of water that must have landed upon the thigh of his pants when he was getting water in the bathroom. Sure, it was nearly dry at this point, but you tell a sensory defensive child that something he doesn't like to wear is really "okay".

Go ahead. I dare you.

So many times during my journey of being a conventional mom to unconventional kids, I catch myself, as an observer to their ways, reacting--reacting with thoughts about what I think should be happening based upon how I expect life to go. Instinctively, I am not autistic. Instinctively, my children are.

I'm getting quicker with my response system, with being able to adopt their perspective so that I can help them grow in this world. But, well, sometimes the switch isn't so seamless.

This entry was brought to you by the letter prompt "W" in the Blogging A to Z April 2012.


  1. Percepton (wet or dry) is something we all have. I love your "instinctively" comments. So clearly stated and so often it sounds like what rules the moment. Hope the rest of the day was a dry one for him! PS - I feed the fish every morning! ;-)

    1. Very good point about perception.

      It has been a good lesson to me to set down my established thinking and remember that not only do my children learn differently but they actually do think differently. They feel differently. They view this world differently.

      It isn't right or wrong. It really is just different (I learned that saying years ago as an exchange student).

      Immersed in chaos, it is easy to adopt my traditional way of thinking and pass judgment on a situation. It takes more effort, however, to set that aside and remember that they are viewing life from a completely different standpoint than I.

    2. Amy Morgan...that's good, I feed them every night. faf=fish are fed.

  2. His morning bus was about to arrive to take him to school. I didn't have time for his nudity.


    and then read the rest of your wisdom!!!!!!! awesome seamlessness!!!

    1. Well, it's TRUE! I'm just a mom trying to do something normal like get her kid to school, and then he throws in a wrench like running around NUDE.

      The next step is that mental conflict I have, the reaction of, "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? WHO DOES THAT??" and the person who actually takes a moment to understand the other side of the situation. Darn that other person. She is so much more evolved than my instinctive self!

  3. your story reminded me of one of my grandson's when first going into big boy pants---he turns to his mom and says--"mommy, my big boy pants are leaking"----wonderful post!

  4. It's interesting that a small drop of water on the pants would bother him - but swinging in the breeze, so to speak, would not.

    You're an amazing mom, Amy. Even if sometimes you don't "get it," because your brain is wired differently than theirs, eventually you do figure out a way.

    1. Tactile defensiveness is something else--wet/sharp/smushy/gooey---who knows what will be offensive to a sensory defensive person. For our older son, wet on his clothes has definitely been an issue.

      Baths are horrible.

      Pools, however, are not. What gives???

  5. You are so good at capturing these moments. You really should submit them to I know you'd get featured.

    1. Thanks, Sandra. I really must figure out how BlogHer works...

  6. Replies
    1. Lol! Thank you! I think I make a lot of mistakes.

  7. faf
    I cannot even imagine being bothered by a wet spot on my pants, but I am also amazed that he battles for his freedom of being. It must be an art to figure out what's REAL and what's just THERE inside his head feeling real. And when does it matter? Always? Today? Never? Jeesh! Instinctively, btw, you love your boys and somehow that makes you dig until you strike gold, nearly every time.

    You are effective and isn't that the key? ♥

    1. Very insightful, always. I've learned that even if it isn't so...if it is inside his head and feeling real, than that is improtant. We must always give our children validation.

  8. WOW, you have a gift at capturing these power struggles that you live through that put me right there in the thick of it all. Bless your heart, I don't know how you do it. Wet indeed. ♥ I would have lost all my marbles long before now.