Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, 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, August 12, 2011

My "Sneak" Washing and The Theory of Clean House-ivity

Like my son Nicholas, I too have a secret obsession.

I like to keep a (somewhat) clean home. Although, lately, I have noticed that raising children makes that wish seem like I am dreaming the impossible dream.

Why do I have this obsessive need? I don't know....but I think it has something to do with clutter and control. In fact, I am sure Albert Einstein has some numerical proof, called The Theory of Clean House-ivity that proves that the amount of clutter and chaos in my house is directly proportional to the amount of clutter and chaos swirling around in my brain.

But I have found a way to reverse Einstein's house keeping theory. If I can control the level of chaos in my home, it seems to help me control the level of chaos disrupting my thoughts. And for a short moment in time, when the house is clean, I can just relax. It is a technique that seems to help me maintain my delicate sanity.....don't ask me why!

Perhaps the cleaning is my subconscious need to control something since my life dealing with special needs is so consumed by dealing with overwhelming....uncontrollable......everything!  I am sure Sigmund Freud would have a field day figuring this one out!

But this unhealthy obsession of mine is in direct conflict with one of Nicholas's quirky obsessions.

For some unusual reason, (probably related to those unruly and unreasonable PWS goblins), my son Nicholas does not like to have his bedsheets washed. The simple act of stripping his bed and placing the sheets into a laundry basket, sends Nicholas into a crying frenzy.

"Muuuuuuuum, don't wash my pillowwwwwww." he screams as I quickly try to gather the linens and scurry them out of sight.

"What's the matter Nicholas?" I ask, trying to comfort my sobbing son.

"Don't wash my sheets Mom Pllllllleeeeeeeaaaaseeeeee!" he howls.

"But Nicholas," I plead, "We need to clean your bedding before it starts to smell. Isn't it nice to have Sponge Bob smelling nice and clean?" I try to reason.

"Noooooo!" he answers adamantly and suddenly I realize....reason has nothing to do with our discussion.

Throughout the year, I have solved this little problem by simply washing the sheets when he is at school. Problem now is.....it's summer and Nicholas does not go to school. In fact, he enjoys attaching himself to my hip as I move about the house sorting and straightening.

Although I think there is a method to his madness...and this shadowing behavior is just a ploy he uses to ensure I don't whisk away his precious Sponge Bob bedding. Like Agatha Cristie or Sherlock Holmes, his innate detective radar immediately sounds whenever I get too close to his bed.



"You're not going to wash my bed, right Mummy?" he'll ask. I smile to myself as I see our two obsessive needs begin to clash. This battle of wills is fueled by my foolish need for cleanliness and his desperate need for sameness.

But alas, his "catch the sneak" radar is stuck in overdrive and he has busted me once again in my attempt to "sneak wash" his bedding.

I must admit, I am starting to enjoy our little game of cat and mouse.

It has challenged me to come up with some creative and stealth-like solutions.
It has helped me to realize the importance of  flexibility and ingenuity.
It has have helped me to realize that there is always more than one way to skin a cat or in our case.....sneak wash the sheets!