Can Someone Define “Normal” (or neurotypical)?

We have just returned from a weekend adventure at Kalahari Waterpark in Sandusky.  We LOVE it there and we go at least twice a year which is good because then our son is nice and familiar with it.  My husband (ADD, but we sometimes wonder about Asperger’s), my son (Asperger’s) and his “neurotypical” friend & I all had a good time but it was definitely an adventure.  And hardly any of the glitches were from my son!! So really who is the “normal” one?

My husband met us there because he rode his bike (75 miles for Pedal to the Point) and the drive there was completely uneventful.  The boys played their games and talked about games and all was well.  Due to timing we just drove straight to the finish line to meet my husband and then we all drove back to the waterpark together.  Now the fun begins.  Of course the room wasn’t ready but we could go into the water park early. This happens to us often so I planned for this.  My son had his trunks on.  I packed a large bag ready for the water park and threw in extra bags so we would have bags for clothes .  I sent my husband in with son’s friend, J, to change.  I informed him of the bags and what to do, he says “yes I saw”.  He walks out with the large bag full of his clothes and carrying J’s clothes.  Huh? “why are you carrying his clothes, there was a bag in there?”  My husband tries to explain how he did it right and there was no where to put J’s clothes. I start to explain but realize that is a waste of time. ” Just forget it lets find somewhere to sit and I will just sort it out.” Minor glitch, no harm no foul, but I swear I speak a different language sometimes.

Finally the room is ready so we all go together check in and get our stuff since the kids were getting tired of swimming.  It had been 2 hours and my son was doing very well, not getting frustrated at all.  In the past he would need a break after an hour.  I don’t think it was the swimming, it was the interacting with another person that wore him out.  Yay, progress.  We all walk together back to the room.  I have the envelope with the room number and I have to repeat the room number at least 10 times for all of them.  I give a key to my son because he likes to walk ahead of us and I tell him it is for them to share because they are to always stick together.  He declares J should hold it because J won’t lose it.  Good plan.  In the room I give my husband a key.  My husband decides to go get a drink from the snack bar right down the hall from our room.  He leaves and I don’t give him any instructions because he is an adult and I shouldn’t need to.  Right.  My husband seems to take forever getting back but maybe he found someone to talk to.  In the lobby earlier he had seen someone else that had obviously also done pedal to the point and he went right over to talk about the ride.  We had also asked for a cot to be delivered so we were kind of stuck in the room anyways.  The boys are fine they are playing games again.  I did at some point start to get worried and debated about going out in the hall to see what happened but now the boys are having technical difficulties and need minor help with their computers.  Finally the phone rings and it is my husband inquiring what room we are in.  WHAT?  Oh geez, apparently he was wandering the hall knocking on doors when someone finally told him to go to the front desk who then called our room for him.  Sigh, didn’t see that one coming.  We then tought to write the room number on his wrist band so he can find his way back next time.   (My husband is actually scheduled to see a neurologist because I swear his memory is getting worse)

Finally we all go outside on the ziplines.  We decide the kids are old enough to wander outside by themselves like they do in the waterpark.  This is good for our son to get independence (that is what I have to remind myself).  We tell them we are at the bar outside or sitting on deck outside of room facing the zipline and off they go.  Yes we go to the bar.  It isn’t often we can relax outside with a drink and it was really nice.  I check on them a couple of times and all seems great.  Then one time I look for them and I can’t find them.  Okay well I will just walk to the room since I need to use the restroom & might as well use one in room ( yes I am a germaphobe but really why use a public restroom if don’t need to?).  Of course the boys are in the room playing games.  They ask me where I was, um right where I told you I would be,” at the bar”.  “Oh, right” they both say.   Well at least they figured out to go back to the room.  I use the restroom (why is this important you may be asking but read on) and there is no bar soap to wash my hands.  Again I stay here all the time I know they give bar soap.  Okay so I use shower gel and figure we can get soap later.   I text husband to come back to room and he actually makes it back.  We go to dinner without any issues.  Really, no issues!

Anyways we go back to the room after dinner and I had notified the front desk of the missing soap so they come to the door with the soap.  My son asked who was at the door and I tell him.  Are you ready for his response…  “Oh J took it, he has a collection.”  Wwhen I ask J about the soap he laughs pulls it out of his bag and says it is something he started doing because they travel the state for BMX races and wanted something from everywhere they go.  But isn’t that an “aspie’ trait.  Just a lesson for me that sometimes these “odd” behaviors on their own may not always be that bad.  At breakfast the NT friend got blueberry pancakes on the buffet because they were labeled chocolate chip and he had to get them off the plate before he could eat.  Again I swear he is NT. Maybe I am just overanalyzing my son sometimes?

And what minor glitch did my son cause on the trip?  Well of course he came into our room (we had a suite) at 4 AM to announce he couldn’t sleep and he needed the ipod charger.  “Go to bed!” I gave him the charger because I knew there was no point in arguing.  I bought the book “Go the F*CK to sleep” because of his issues.  If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it.  It doesn’t solve any problems or give any advise but sometimes it is good to just be able to laugh about things!  My son actually found the book to be hilarious.

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