Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 15, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 18, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.




Friday, March 25, 2011

Harry Houdini and the Mold Guy

Nicholas loves to play in the living room. Usually, I can hear him as he plays with his toy garage.

"VVVVrrrooom, vvvrrrrooom, I am pressing the clicker and the garage door goes up." He explains to no one in particular.

"The truck goes into the garage. Boom, boom, boom, the door closes"

Nicholas has an imagination that can make everything come to life. He is a child that has no trouble entertaining himself.

But every once in a while, as I am busy working, it will become very quiet. The living room is silent. I look for my young son and realize he is gone, vanished into thin air like Harry Houdini.

Now, as a mother of a child diagnosed with Prader Willi syndrome, I should be worried that he is searching the house high and low for food. I must admit my heart does stop momentarily as I wonder if this silent episode will indeed bring this fateful result.

So far, thankfully, it has not.

Instead, as I search the house for my quiet, little companion. This is what I usually find:



Pillows and blankets formed into a cozy pile. Or....



Our front closet raided for snow pants.



Nicholas wearing the snow pants he found during his raid.


Or, I will find him resting comfortably in one of my laundry baskets.



Or he will raid one of my first aid kits


And more first aid kits

But Nicholas's best Harry Houdini ever was when the "mold expert" guy came to evaluate our attic. We had some ice dams build up on our roof this winter. It caused our roof to leak which in turn started to form mold. I called our insurance company. They sent out their "mold expert" to survey the damage.

So, the mold guy, (Dave), Nicholas and I head up to the attic. Nicholas is thrilled to see Dave because on his back he is carrying a beautiful backpack (and another one of Nicholas's obsessions)


A small sample of his collection just in case you don't believe me.

Anyway, Dave puts down his backpack. He and I move over to the roof to examine the leak. As we do so, Nicholas once again gets quiet. I am talking to Dave and am completely unaware of the silence.

After a while Dave, does notice, out of the corner of his eye, that Nicholas is zipping up his backpack. Good guy that he is, Dave explains very patiently to Nicholas that he needs to be careful since he has a lot of dangerous equipment inside his pack.

Embarrassed now, I use this as a teaching opportunity and explain to Nicholas that it is not appropriate to look in other folks backpacks.

Dave, no worse for the wear, handles the situation well and tells me he has kids of his own. We laugh about the situation, Dave finishes his evaluation and heads home.

Two days later I receive a phone call from Dave.

"Hello Mrs. Peters, this is Dave, the mold guy."

"Yes, Hello Dave."  I answer.

"I have an unusual question for you." he states.

"An unusual question?" I answer, wondering where on earth this is leading.

"Yes," he says. "Remember when Nicholas was zipping up my backpack?"

"Yes, I say, a little more clear now where this is going.

"Did you happen to find anything up in your attic that may not belong to you?" He asks gently.

"Oh no!" I say, now totally aware of what he is getting at. "Let me go take a look."

As I go up to the attic I look carefully around and sure enough, hidden in one of the boxes is...


An unusual array of "mold guy" supplies

I head down from the attic and pick up the phone,

"Yes, Dave", I explain, "Are you missing, by any chance, one bottle of glass cleaner, a pair of gloves, a bag of purple filters, a first aid kit, some plastic bags and some outlet covers?"

"Why yes, Mrs Peters, that is exactly what I am missing."

"I am so sorry......I begin.

"There is no need to explain Mrs Peters, it is perfectly alright. I just wanted to be sure I was not losing my mind."

"No, you are not." I said We have the spirit of Harry Houdini living in this house. Can I please mail you these items back?" I ask.

"Absolutely not," he said "Just consider it a donation. I wasn't even going to call you."

"Thank you for understanding Dave" I said.

"I have children too." He explained once again.

As I hung up the phone, I realized that this was another good teaching opportunity for Nicholas. And as I turned around to speak with him....once again.....


He was gone!


1 comment:

The Henrys said...

What a cute and precious story! With all of those supplies, Nicholas could keep busy for a long time! Also what a nice guy to be understanding. I wish everyone were like that!

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