Helping Aaron change his sheets today reminded me once again of another characteristic of Aspergers – an insistence on sameness. Aaron wants every wrinkle pulled out of his covers when we’re putting them on his bed, and there is one smaller blanket that must be centered. Not only that, but he likes several blankets, in addition to his sheet, and they must be put on his bed in a particular order.
I remember once, several years ago, that as I helped him change his sheets I decided that there was a better order for the blankets to be put on the bed. My order made it easier to tuck the sheet and blankets under the mattress. So I matter-of-factly showed him my plan as I changed up his plan for the Order of the Covers. He said he didn’t like it. So very patiently I showed him again that my Order of the Covers was a good Order of the Covers. The same covers were included as always but in a different order. Aaron stood there pondering and the only word that he heard, as I would soon discover, was the word “different.” Not the word “better” or the word “good,” but only the word “different” – which is not a favorite word of Aaron’s. He complied with my plan at that time, and so we completed the bedmaking with the new Order of the Covers. I trotted happily on my way without giving that exchange a further thought.
Until the next morning. Aaron usually makes his bed before leaving the house, but something that next morning didn’t seem right about his bed and so I took a look. AH HAH!! After we had gone to bed the night before, Aaron got up and changed the Order of the Covers back to HIS Order of the Covers. “Well, well, well,” I thought. Two can play this game! And I changed the Order of the Covers back to MY Order of the Covers. HaHa! That’ll show him! Neither of us said a word that night before bed, but don’t you know that when I got up the next morning he had changed the Order of the Covers back to HIS Order of the Covers again?! We went back and forth then for several days in our silent battle over the Order of the Covers. Finally, though, I faced reality. Did I really want to spend the rest of my life remaking his bed every morning? Was this issue really worth that? Nah, I didn’t think it was.
I conceded. He won the Battle of the Order of the Covers. Good grief, I may as well admit it. He won the whole war!