Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Let's hear it for strange!

For the last few months, Max has been sleeping with a bowl, a plate and a cup in his bed. Purple, of course. This is a kid who's never had an attachment to teddy bears, blankies or any of that stuff. No, my son likes to canoodle with tableware.

The purple obsession isn't showing any signs of dwindling, but still: dishes? And they need to be placed just so, the bowl evenly centered on the plate, the cup the "right" distance away. Max will spend minutes arranging them when he lies down at night and make sure they are appropriately set up before he leaves for school in the morning.

A few weeks ago, he decide to leave a purple bowl and plate at his place at the table. Now they are also there all the time, also placed just so. In case you are wondering how we happened to have amassed all of this glorious purple, environmentally toxic tableware (and there's more in the cupboards), we have traveled to distant lands to acquire our collection. Or, more specifically, anytime we've visited someone's house and they have a purple bowl and happen to show it to Max, he's basically begged to take him home. He is hard to turn down.

One plate came from Disney's Animal Kingdom hotel—a woman was setting out dishes for some craft activity by the pool, and Max refused to let go of the purple plate. The cups hail from the dollar store. "Oh, it's the purple cup lady!" the guy says when I show up to purchase another stash.

I've been wondering what Max's purple tableware thing is about. It's kind of...eccentric. And then I thought: pot calling the kettle black.

I've never told you about my little crystal animal problem, have I?

This my Swarovski menagerie, started when my sister and I were teens. I think the mouse came first, bought with some babysitting money. The bird followed and then the other creatures, one by one, like Noah's ark. Dave got the rattle and baby carriage when he was in Europe on business while I was pregnant with Sabrina.

I am completely and utterly weird about them. Every morning, even as I am running around like a headless chicken getting ready for work, I check to make sure they are in their place. The kids are not allowed to touch them.

Last fall, we hired a cleaning lady to come in every couple of weeks. One day, after she'd been there, I noticed one of the bird's wings had fallen off. I was crushed. Then, a few weeks later, one of the fish's fins was gone after she'd visited. Just, gone.

I started dreading the day she was coming to clean. Which animal would she maim?

The last straw was the panda's legs. Two of them, kaput.

I called and told her things weren't working out. And it was mostly because of the crystal animals.

For the last few weeks, I have been carrying around the maimed fish in my purse; I'm hoping to make it to a Swarovski store to get it fixed. I am sure they will charge me a bundle for one measly fin but I will pay it.

So, yeah, my attachment to itty bitty crystal animals is strange. Max's purple plate habit is kinda strange.

"Normal" is all relative, anyway, as we all know so well. And overrated.

Yay, strange!

What's "strange" about you? Share!


  1. She prob tried to clean it with soap and water under the faucet and it unglued?

  2. Nothing seems strange to me;) your posts make me smile:) just so you know, I have the same fish.. And mines been missing his fin for years. I feel like were long lost frineds- haha.
    I am a mama of 2 special boys,arent they all special anyway?My youngest has severe cp, and my oldest son has some quirky habits all his own that change like the seasons. Oh the stories I can share! Please tell Max I Love his purple ensemble.As I come across time some peices of purple- I will think of him and smile:)

  3. Nothing seems strange at all. I'm with Max. Purple Rocks!

    And that thing about normal?! Normal is just a cycle on a washing machine.

  4. Maybe he likes to have a particular thing which he can control, to give him certainty. Has he been having bad dreams at night?
    About your crystal animals, as long as it doesn't control what you do during the day I think it is a good thing to be attached to something; I'm sure I have it as well, just not sure what it is. I'll ask my kids!

  5. Ashley's not compulsive other than sleeping routines (car in each hand and a kiss for Big Ted).
    I love things draining properly. We don't have a dishwasher so things have to be placed so they drain properly, not upside down to hold the water.
    And I'll check the doors are locked at night at least twice and even if I see Gill lock them.
    And I straighten stationery when in meetings.
    And I'll fold and refold paper until it falls apart....

  6. No such thing as strange in my house!! :)

  7. If you have a diagnosis then you also are labelled as having "fascinations" rather than "passions". If a family all has their own place at the table no one queries it, but if a child is 'on the spectrum' then having their own seat is considered 'weird'.
    Ugh, most of my child's issues and idiosyncrasies have nothing to do with his brain injury and A LOT to do with genetics courtesy of my husband and I (and that Y chromosome which accounts for MOST of it ;-)

  8. For me, anything "normal" or typical seems weird. My quirk is similar to your Max's; I must eat from a specific plate, using silverware that "feels" or looks right, and I must eat my food in an organized manner that leaves me with exactly ONE bite of each thing left on my plate. Oh, and I must take a drink after each bite. Strange is awesome! Love your blog btw :)

  9. Stephanie PinksterMarch 8, 2011 at 7:27 AM

    Normalcy is over-rated!! Just like sanity :-)

  10. Ellen, I think either I or my mother can replace the fish that is broke...LOL., I so had them too.
    Sondra (Ginberg) Whalen
    -> Ryan sleeps with just about every toy in his bed, ranging from Hess trucks, to the slinky last night. I think we put stuff in Samanthas crib just so she doesnot feel left out.

  11. What ISN'T strange about me?!!
    So interesting to find the things that make us feel secure.

  12. I don't like trash in the bathroom trashcans. It would drive me crazy when my husband would put tissues or anything in the bathroom trashcans. He finally got so tired of my fussing about it the he doesn't do it anymore. Does that make me strange? :)

  13. My last boyfriend admitted to being OCD. One night he was in my kitchen with me and as we were talking he kept looking over my shoulder. He finally burst in, "I'm sorry, but your knife is crooked," and straightened a steak knife that was sort of sticking out of the knife block. He also could only eat his m&m's in twos of the same color.

  14. I have a severe thing with "sticky" If it's sticky I can't touch it, and if I do I must was it off ASAP. If I even think a syrup bottle is sticky I have to have someone else pour it on my food for me. It can make going to pancake and waffle places anxiety inducing....and I LOVE pancakes and waffles.

    I can only use yellow highlighters at work. Only yellow at work. Other colors are for non work uses only.

    Strange enough?

  15. I do find it interesting that Max sleeps with tableware. My daughter has never "bonded" with animals or a blanket or anything. Makes me wonder what she will become fascinated with as she gets older. : )

    As for my strangeness, I have quite a few um, quirks. When I hang items on a cork board, all the papers have to line up perfectly and I can use different colored pins , but each paper has to have one color only. I love buying a pack of Starburst because you get an even number of each flavor in the pack and that makes me so happy! My hair always has to be parted to one particular side. If it gets parted to the other side - I just feel "off". Strange is a good thing!

  16. Max just wants to make sure the dish doesn't run away with the spoon!!

    That's not strange at all where I come from--my kids would sleep with their bike and wagon if I let them!

  17. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ellen! You crack me up! I have too many weird things to list! Mainly, when I wash the dishes everything has to be grouped by like item. Spoons with spoons, cups with cup, all lined up a certain way on the dish towel while they dry! Lol!

  18. I thought this post was about something else ENTIRELY. My bad. :P

  19. If having a seat that is "your seat" even though no one has assigned it to you is weird then 80 percent of my teenage students have issues.

  20. I have a weakness for the idea of scrapbooking. I keep a huge box with a million little things that would look just PERFECT in a scrapbook and I have every INTENTION of scrapbooking, but so far it's been 4 years and I've never given it a go but once.

    M has an obsession with trash. There are times when this is pretty gross, like when he sees old gum stuck to the floor of an elevator and will. not. leave. said elevator without the gum in his hand so that he can throw it away in a trash can. Sometimes he throws away toys or important papers, or asks for tissues just so he has some garbage to throw away. Christmas was hysterical because he would tear one piece of wrapping paper off a gift and have to go throw it in the trashcan before coming back to take another piece of paper off the gift. We spent a looon time opening presents but I got some great video of it and there was no clean-up for me at the end! I've never seen another kid so eager to help clean up if trash is involved as M! :-)

  21. When I was a child and I got my one new pair of "school" shoes each fall I would sleep with them in a nest at the foot of the bed where I could check on them, and pat them when needed.

  22. Can I ask about the chair in one of those photos? What brand/type and where from? It looks like it is just what the OT suggesting we get - supports back and feet and allows child to sit at the table better posture etc

  23. Michelle, that chair is a Keekaroo. I highly recommend it; it gives great support, it's durable and it's nice looking.

    Seems like Max and I are in lots of strange company on this blog. Excellent.

  24. I've kept every pair of glasses since I started wearing them in 1977. And I had laser eye surgery about 5 years ago so really why keep them? I also have my before and after dental impressions from when I had braces.

  25. I like banana flavored candy, but not bananas, eat excessive amounts of noodles, play the flute, and I am in Advanced English.


Thanks for sharing!

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