Peter tends to fixate on random things for reasons that are unknown to us lowly “neuro-typical” folks. By “random things” I don’t mean stuffed animals or toys, which you would expect from a kid his age. I really mean random things.
Last week it was this set of plastic plates:
First thing each morning, he would make a beeline to the kitchen drawer where they are kept, retrieve them, and proceed to tote them around all day long. We had no clue why. Was it the cute dalmatian images? The sound the plates make clinking against each other? No clue. But he had to have them near.
Yesterday the “random item” changed. To a cereal box. Not the cereal. The box. THIS box:
Let me immediately state that I am in no way compensated by Kellogg’s company to advertise their product. In fact, we have never bought this particular product. Yet we were compelled to do so yesterday by none other than – you guessed it! – our nonverbal son!
Here is the story: Peter and his dad (Patrick) went on their Saturday Outing to Publix. (Again, no compensation for the mention of this particular grocery store, which happens to be Peter’s favorite.) Normally Peter likes to first play with the carts (that’s another story) and then go along with his Dad to various favorite spots within the store. Yesterday, however, the routine changed. Upon entering, Peter bypassed the carts (!!!!!) and ran through the store, followed frantically by his Dad. He would not stop. He had a purpose. He went straight for the cereal aisle where he made his way directly to this box of cereal, grabbed it from the shelf, and did a Happy Dance.
To put it mildly, Patrick was a bit perplexed. This was not Peter’s normal favorite cereal. This was Raisin Bran. Peter does not like raisins and will not put one in the vicinity of his mouth. Patrick tried to put the box back, but Peter would not hear of it. Patrick tried to substitute the box for the store brand with the intention of saving a few dollars. No go. Peter was not going to part with that box of cereal.
So the box was bought. It came home. And it stayed in Peter’s hand or very nearby for the rest of the day. After dinner, our brilliant high-schooler (who LOVES raisin bran, by the way, and wanted to save it from contamination), suggested that we take out the bag of cereal and let Peter tote around just the box. We did so, and Peter did not object. That box was the first thing Peter looked for when he awoke this morning, and it has not left his side. Even in the bathroom.
What is it about this box that fascinates him? We don’t know. He stares at the front. He stares at the back. There is a cute yellow sun on the front, but we’re not sure if that’s it. There’s the same sun on the back, too, but he doesn’t seem to be staring at that. It’s bizarre. Enough to make us wonder… is there something that only he can see that the rest of us can’t? A secret code? The solution to the universe’s mysteries?! Hey, Kellogg’s Company – can you explain?!
This box will probably be around for about a week until the next random object of fixation appears. Until then, well … we have some raisins to eat!