Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Life with Colin

Today is Tuesday and Colin is at school.  Before he left today, we had the following conversation. 

Me:  Colin, I need to clean the house today.
Colin:  You can't clean up my office.  YOU. CAN'T.
Me:  I have to, honey.  I need to vacuum. 
Colin:  Fine.  But I will have to put it all back.  And make sure you leave everything together. 
Me:  I also have to mop the kitchen floor.
Colin:  NO!  You want to take apart my ship, too??  NO!

You see, my son is brilliant.  And he doesn't play like most kids.  And my house doesn't look like most houses.  He is lucky that I am his mom.  :-)  Colin has been officially diagnosed with something called PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), which is an autism spectrum disorder.  He's still young and I have a feeling that his diagnosis will probably change down the line to one new title or another, but the bottom line is that my boy is EXTRA SPECIAL and EXTRA AMAZING and SUPER BRILLIANT.  I would not change a single thing about him.  Well, I suppose that's not completely true.  He also has that wickedly horrible anxiety disorder that I would take away if I possibly could.  And as a mom, it's kind of my job to want to take away every single thing that could ever hurt him.  So, in that sense, I would change him if I could.  But I would never want a different little man...Colin is COLIN and I honestly feel that God gave him to me on purpose as a present.  I am suited to be his mother and we fit together perfectly.  He makes my life full and hysterical and amazing and VERY interesting.  And everyone knows that I don't like to be bored!  :-)

So, when Colin plays, he creates elaborate "set-ups".  That's what he calls set-ups.  And he doesn't play with anything the way it was marketed to be played with.  Ever.  He also likes to turn the most random things around the house into part of his plan.  Please see Exhibit A, which is the afore mentioned "office":  

The picture above used to be my entryway.  Emphasis on "used to".  Now it is Colin's "office", which includes, but is not limited to, a plastic workbench with super hero cape, Lego table, elaborate Lego office set-up, puppet theatre, end table, entry table, diaper boxes used as storage, and toy bins that normally go elsewhere.  It is clearly imperative that no one try to enter my house through the front door. 

Next on the list is his "ship" that is set up on my kitchen floor.  It is comprised of a Rescue Bot Police Station, canned goods from the pantry, a ton of old pacifiers, and squishy lizards and frogs.  I was informed that this is actually the Death Star from Star Wars and the pacifiers are Storm Troopers and the squishy guys are the Rebel Troopers.  Obviously.  :-)

The third set-up currently in play:  War Zone set up in our extra bedroom.  This one is so full of stuff that I can't name it all.  The bottom line is that there is a major war going on here and it involves a lot forces from a lot of armies.  Do you see the huge dollhouse up against the wall?  You might think it's odd that my son requested a large dollhouse for Christmas this year, but you would be wrong.  That has actually never been a "dollhouse".  At the moment, it is a military hospital for injured warriors.  So there.  :-)  The bad news for me?  Due to the fact that we have family coming to stay with us next weekend, so I am going to have the joyous task of convincing Colin that his battle scene has to go.

There is actually more to see around the house, his playroom (that is also Preston's room) has a huge scene where LOTS of vehicles were involved in a huge flood and had to be evacuated. By "evacuated", I mean piles and piles of toy vehicles moved to one side of the room and completely blocking the doorway. At least Preston doesn't sleep in there yet. :-)

I can honestly say that none of this bothers me. It really and truly doesn't. I think it is super awesome that Colin turns the most mundane household objects into toys and actual toys into something else that nobody ever thought of. I love that he sees nothing at face value and uses his mind to create distant lands and exciting adventures with cat food cans, for heavens sake! I just love him. I love him exactly the way he is. I would never want to somehow block his imagination because I prefer my house to be neater. I can't imagine stopping him from building a castle out of cans just because of something silly like pantry items not being toys. SURE they can be toys!!! I had just never thought of it before! His favorite place to go right now for a treat is Dollar Tree - the store where everything is $1. I will give him $10 and he will carefully go through the store and pick out all kinds of things for his set-ups. Last Saturday, he picked out a long rubber cabinet liner to use as a runway for airplanes. And office supplies. And cup holders. I can't even remember what those were for. But I guarantee you it was something cool.

I want Colin to look back on his childhood as being wonderful, despite his struggles. I want him to remember that we supported every single thing that made him Colin. I want our house to be where he gets to be himself and it's always okay. I want him to know that he is brilliant and amazing and that I love everything that he comes up with, even if it makes my house look a bit on the cluttered side. It just doesn't matter. HE MATTERS.

But me before you come over, okay? I really need to clear out the entry way first.


elegraph said...

Whee! I saw that you had posts today! Not one, but threeee!!! So the first thing after cleaning up the dinner kitchen mess tonight was to fire up the Keurig for a cup of decaf and get to reading. Love the birth story. And Chalna, I will be re-reading that Colin post as needed (which will be often). I need to change my attitude about the mess that my brilliant boy creates when he's doin' his thang. You truly have a heart of gold.

mary sullivan said...





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